A development consent order was signed by the transport secretary and Costain is on board as main contractor for the A1 upgrade works. Jacobs is the design partner for the project under the 6.5 km road widening scheme.
The cost is yet to be determined, said Highways England. The A1 south of Gateshead is to be widened by Costain to four lanes between junction 65 and 67 on the southbound carriageway and three lanes with lane gain/drop between junctions on the northbound carriageway.
An off-line replacement of Allerdene Railway Bridge immediately south of the existing structure to tie into the existing structure at Junction 67, Coal House is also a part of the scheme. It forms part of the Newcastle Gateshead Western Bypass to connect junction 65 and junction 80.
The stretch of road to be widened passes the Angel of the North. The sculptor, Anthony Gormley has been consulted by the Planning Inspectorate that resulted in additional requirements added to noise to protect the Angel and its setting, and control lighting.
The Planning Inspectorate has received the application for consideration by Highways England on 14th August 2019 and accepted it for examination on 10th September 2019. It took until 21st October 2020 for its report to be submitted to the secretary of state.
It took three months for the final decision and the project had been expected to move rather more quickly than this. Besides, the works were expected to start on site before the end of 2020. A total of 100 projects include 61 for energy, 36 transport, two waste and one wastewater developments.
Out of these 100 projects to go through the development consent planning route to date, there are currently 63 nationally significant Infrastructure projects at pre-application stage.