People from across the North East are being urged to back a major Tyneside infrastructure project in a national competition hosted by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

The A1 Coal House to Metro Centre Improvement scheme is in the running for the ICE People’s Choice Award, which celebrates UK civil engineering projects that have made a positive impact on regions and communities.

On behalf of Highways England, Balfour Beatty, in partnership with Parson Brinkerhoff and Arup, carried out the work on the stretch of road leading to the Metro Centre, which helped to reduce congestion among the 116,000 vehicles that use it every day.

The £56m project, which was completed in January 2017, upgraded the 6.4km stretch between Coal House and the Metro Centre from two to three lanes in each direction.

It was also the overall winner of the prestigious Robert Stephenson Awards, ICE North East’s annual awards dinner and ceremony, which recognises region-wide infrastructure projects. The improvement scheme was the Large Project category winner, for entries worth £4m or more.

Penny Marshall, ICE North East Regional Director, said: “Good civil engineering projects greatly benefit people’s everyday lives, shaping the world and safeguarding our future. The A1 Coal House to Metro Centre Improvement scheme has supported national and regional transport strategies, while reducing congestion that has contributed to the economic growth on Tyneside.

“It was a large scale project and its importance cannot be underestimated, given the 116,000 plus vehicles that use this particular stretch of road each day. The scheme would be a deserving winner of the ICE People’s Choice Award.”

In 2016, over 16,000 people across the UK cast a vote for one of their favourite civil engineering projects, with the repair of Scotland’s Forth Road Bridge winning the top prize.

Members of the public can vote at http://www.ice.org.uk/Peopleschoiceaward from 13 November until 1 December and the winning project will be revealed on 13 December.

All voters will be entered into a prize draw to win a Kindle and a 6-month Kindle Unlimited Membership. The public can follow award updates on social media using #ICEPeopleschoice.