The Highways Agency’s contractor has revealed more details about the works to the A1 bridge at the southern entrance to Alnwick, which are set to start in February.
As previously reported by the Gazette, work is scheduled to start on Monday, February 2, and be completed by Friday, August 28, weather-permitting.
During the seven-month period, alternate sides of the carriageway of the A1 will be closed with a contraflow system in place on the other side featuring a 50mph speed limit. This will run from just north of the Alnwick south interchange about two kilometres down to just north of the Hitchcroft junction (the southern junction to Shilbottle).
On top of this, the road to Shilbottle will be restricted to one-way traffic, which will be controlled by manually operated traffic lights.
Yesterday, a letter from contractor A-one+ went out to residents providing further details of the phases. The initial set-up will take place until Thursday, February 5, with occasional full overnight closures of the A1.
Between early February and late May, the northbound side of the bridge will be closed and a contraflow system in place on the southbound side. Vehicles travelling south on the A1 will be able to get in and out of Alnwick, while northbound vehicles will be able to get into Alnwick, but not out at this junction.
From late May until late August, the southbound side will be closed, meaning northbound traffic will have unrestricted access, but southbound traffic will be able to get in to, but not out of, Alnwick from the A1.
Essentially, through both phases, there will be no restrictions getting into Alnwick from the A1 at this junction, but there will be diversions for vehicles to get onto the A1, initially for northbound traffic, then for southbound traffic.
Work was carried out on the same bridge in 2010/11, causing disruption for more than a year.
A Highways Agency spokeswoman said: “The work is needed because the bridge is almost 50 years old and the concrete supports are in poor condition, and in need of repair. This work is the second phase of similar work that was carried out to one half of the bridge in 2011. While the repairs to the supports are being carried out we will also carry out other necessary maintenance work on the bridge reducing the need for further traffic restrictions.”