The A66/A171 Cargo Fleet Junction Improvements scheme - known locally as the A66 Throughabout – has opened to traffic.
Designed to handle the 50,000 vehicles (including over 5,000 HGVs) that pass through it every weekday, the new road layout was developed following detailed modelling work that tested a number of potential options designed to improve the capacity of the junction and, therefore, its ability to handle the expected increase in peak period traffic movements over the coming years.
The Throughabout was found to deliver the greatest benefits of all the options tested.
Tom Fenby, Faithful+Gould’s Quantity Surveyor on the scheme, said: “The re-routing of A66 traffic through the centre of the roundabout has reduced the volume of traffic using the circulatory carriageway, making it easier for drivers to enter the junction. The works have improved the capacity and resilience of the road, reducing journey times and improving journey time reliability, particularly during the busy morning and evening peak periods.”
Works were completed by mid-September despite the restrictions on site working imposed by social distancing and the other measures required to ensure the safety of the workforce.
Tom continued: "Faithful+Gould are proud to have supported Middlesbrough Council in successfully delivering this infrastructure project, particularly during such challenging times.
"The positive investment by the Council and the Tees Valley Combined Authority will bring large scale benefit to travelling in and around Middlesbrough and help support the local economy.
"It's also clear to see how the scheme will futureproof road links to the surrounding developing areas and attract further investment."
Councillor Ashley Waters, Middlesbrough Council's Executive Member for Regeneration, said: "The completion of this important scheme during the current pandemic is a real good news story, and a testament to the dedication and professionalism of everyone involved.
"Even in normal circumstances, projects of this scale can only be delivered through a partnership approach.
"The fact that the new road layout was opened to traffic at the end of August despite the restrictions imposed by COVID-19 shows just how strong that partnership was, and I'd like to thank AE Yates, Lynas Engineers and Faithful+Gould for working so closely with the Council over the last few months to ensure a successful outcome.
"I'd also like to thank the local business community and the travelling public for their patience and understanding whilst the works were underway.
"Now that those works are complete, everyone who shared the short-term pain will share the long-term benefits that the scheme will deliver over the coming years."