A contractor has been appointed to deliver a major highways improvement project in South Tyneside.
A scheme which will see an additional lane installed on the A19 northbound approach to the Tyne Tunnel will get underway next month.
At a meeting of South Tyneside Council's Cabinet last night, approval was given to award the contract to construction firm Galliford Try.
The company was appointed as the Council's Engineering Framework Partner in February 2016 and was subsequently appointed Principal Contractor for both the Lindisfarne and Arches Junction improvement schemes.
Cllr Mark Walsh, Lead Member for Housing and Transport, said: "Galliford Try have delivered both the Lindisfarne and Arches schemes in a timely manner and within budget.
"They have also demonstrated that, where possible, the procurement of materials, plant and equipment have been from a local source and a significant proportion of staff lived within a 10-mile radius of the projects.
"The A19 lane gain scheme will see an additional lane constructed to allow local traffic to filter off the strategic road network towards the A185 rather than having to queue alongside vehicles heading through the Tyne Tunnel. It will reduce congestion and improve journey times and reliability."
The project is scheduled to last around six months and will involve some overnight working. Two narrowed lanes will be maintained during peak times.
Cllr Walsh added: "Following on from Lindisfarne and Arches, this is the next of our transport investment projects that aim to establish a strategic Western Gateway into South Tyneside and increase the capacity for economic growth across the borough.
"Helping traffic move efficiently along the A19 corridor is key to boosting our economy. With projects like the International Advanced Manufacturing Park set to create thousands of new jobs, it's vital that we have the right infrastructure in place to support sustainable growth."
Graham Bucknell, Contracts Manager for Galliford Try, added: "We're delighted to have been awarded this scheme and for the opportunity to further develop our relationship with South Tyneside Council.
"We're obviously very familiar now with the A19 and the various stakeholders involved which will make the work progress all the more smoothly."