OVERNIGHT traffic on the Wearmouth Bridge could be delayed because of lane closures next week.
The night-time works are installing carriageway loops that detect vehicle movements and help traffic signals to manage traffic queues.
The four nights of work – Monday 22, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – will see loops on the bridge’s southern side installed between 7.30pm and 5.30am.
The work is part of a new traffic scheme allowing all northbound traffic, including buses and taxis, into Bridge Street and then onto the bridge junction.
This revamped junction is being introduced later this year as part of the High Street West updates that started last month. Bridge Street will become a two-way route to include all traffic northbound as the existing one-way only system southbound is revoked. Southbound buses will continue to use the road into Bedford Street.
For next week’s work, bridge traffic travelling north will be restricted to a single lane as it approaches and continues through the southern bridgehead junction. Pedestrians and cyclists are not being affected by the works.
Councillor Michael Mordey, Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for City Services, said: “Very careful consideration has been given to the timing and phasing of the works, the safety of the workforce and the safety of the travelling public. To minimise any nuisance to local residents and businesses, works that could generate excessive noise will be completed before 11pm.
“While the council apologises in advance for any inconvenience, the council is very much committed to improving our city’s highways network.
“This new northbound and direct route to the Wearmouth Bridge, is very much part of this commitment. Putting in the new loops means that traffic signalling for the approaches to the bridge becomes much more responsive to traffic volumes.
“The council is also preparing a works programme to re-model the junctions on the north side of the Wearmouth Bridge. This includes re-introducing two-way traffic into North Bridge Street and Dame Dorothy Street.”