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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Time-lapse footage shows removal of A1 footbridge

Captivating time-lapse footage released today shows the successful removal of a footbridge as part of National Highways’ A1 Birtley to Coal House upgrade.

The 47-metre-long, 100 tonne North Dene Bridge between junctions 65 (Birtley) and 66 (Eighton Lodge) was taken down just over a week ago to allow for the construction of additional lanes.

Two cranes, one weighing 200 tonnes, the other 95 tonnes, completed the removal at night before taking the structure away for recycling.

National Highways Project Manager Helen Burrow said:

“These striking images really show the complexity of the operation to remove the footbridge. We are delighted to have successfully completed this milestone as it means we can start to build a new lane in each direction, which will ultimately reduce congestion and make people’s journeys safer and more reliable.

“We thank road users for their patience while we removed the bridge.”

A new, longer, bridge will be installed next summer once the additional lanes have been added to the carriageway. Until then pedestrians are able to use the newly-refurbished Longbank underpass further west towards junction 66.

The A1 Birtley to Coal House project will enhance journey times and safety and boost the North East’s economy by widening the road from three to four lanes between junctions 65 and 67 on the southbound carriageway and three lanes between junctions 65 and 67 on the northbound carriageway.      

The existing Allerdene railway bridge, which carries the A1 over the East Coast Main Line, will be replaced and the bridges at junctions 66 and 67 widened to accommodate the additional lanes.    

National Highways will also introduce electronic signage to provide driver information along the road. The location of these signs has been agreed with Gateshead Council and in consultation with Antony Gormley’s studio in order to consider views of The Angel of the North. The iconic statue’s setting will be improved with tree planting within the boundary of the scheme to maximise visibility of the Angel.     

The upgrade, which is due to open to traffic in Spring 2025, is being delivered by Costain Jacobs

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