Utilities are being diverted in Bowes Street, Wanley Street and Church Street as part of the £1.3m Northern Gateway Phase 1 Scheme. This is the first project in the Energising Blyth Regeneration Programme which aims to revitalise the town centre.
This project will improve the look and feel of Bowes Street, Wanley Street and Church Street and include new paving, wider footpaths, on-street parking and improved lighting.
On Bowes Street the road will be upgraded, and cycling provision improved. A one-way system will also be introduced, to encourage safe and sustainable transport in the area.
In May a number of planters in Bowes Street were removed to enable access for utilities diversions. Work from July onwards is focused on utilities diversions prior to the main construction stage and will last about 12 weeks and will be carried out by Northern Gas Network (NGN), Northern Power Grid (NPG) and BT Openreach.
The work by NGN and NPG, which started on Monday, is expected to last for about eight weeks and involves lowering the electric and gas services along Bowes Street to enable the council to build the new road surface later this year.
BT Openreach is then expected to start minor works in the middle of August for around six weeks.
Barriers will be installed around all works, localised pedestrian diversions will be in place where necessary and access to properties will be maintained at all times.
The county council will also be putting ‘business as usual’ signs around the area, emphasising that firms will continue to trade despite the disruption.
Prior to their removal as part of the construction of the new scheme, the remaining planters are also being filled with seasonal flowers this month to provide a temporary uplift to the look and feel of the area.
The main works are due to be completed next year.
The project is a partnership scheme delivered and funded by the county council (£550,000), Blyth Town Council (£18,740) and the Government's Accelerated Towns Fund (£750,000).
More information on developments and plans for Blyth is available at www.northumberland.gov.uk/energisingblyth