Another landmark reached on Morpeth bypass scheme

St Leonard's Bridge

St Leonard's Bridge

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Another key section of work on Morpeth’s £30million bypass will be completed later this week.

For the past six months, engineers have been building a new underpass on the A1 between the River Wansbeck and the A697 turn-off, which will ultimately allow traffic to join and leave the new bypass at its western end once open. This has resulted in motorists using a new section of road to continue their journey.

Work is set to start tomorrow to switch drivers back onto the main A1. It will be carried out during the night to minimise any traffic delays. Weather permitting, from Saturday, vehicles will be able to stay on the A1 and travel over the new structure.

The St Leonard’s underpass section of Northumberland County Council’s Morpeth Northern Bypass scheme began in June when 13,500 cubic metres of material was removed from the A1 embankment.

Over the last five months, 7,000 cubic metres of structural backfill, 405 tonnes of precast concrete beams, 364 cubic metres of concrete and 300 reinforced concrete panels have been put in place.

The 2.4-mile road, which will run between this junction and Whorral Bank, is scheduled for completion in spring 2017.

Coun Ian Swithenbank, cabinet member for local services, said: "It's exciting to see this major scheme nearing its end and another key stage of the work complete.

"This method of construction using the future slip roads while we constructed the underpass has allowed the works to be carried out much more quickly and safely than other methods and also minimised traffic delays.

"Once complete, the bypass will cut travel time, ease congestion in Morpeth and open up the south-east of the county for further economic growth, bringing benefits for all."