A major upgrade of Newton Aycliffe’s road network is set to get underway.
The Durham County Council works will deliver improvements along the A167 at its Central Avenue and Ricknall Lane junctions, and the A167/A689 Rushyford roundabout.
The scheme will provide additional road capacity in the area, unlocking the potential to develop up to 1,400 new homes on the Low Copelaw site to the east of the town.
Vegetation and tree removal works are taking place near the Central Avenue junction before final utilities diversions start later this month.
Construction work at the Central Avenue junction will then follow, quickly followed by work starting at the Rushyford roundabout and Ricknall Lane junction.
Cllr Elizabeth Scott, the council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “Low Copelaw is identified as a strategic housing site in the County Durham Plan and it’s important that we approach the site’s development very carefully.
“These upgrades to the highways network will provide access to the site itself, while ensuring that highways capacity keeps pace with housing growth in the area.
“Though these kinds of improvements are needed to ensure we can keep traffic moving in the long-term, we very much appreciate that they will inevitably cause some disruption in the short-term.
“We apologise in advance for any inconvenience and also thank people for their patience while we deliver this important project.”
The work at the A167’s Central Avenue junction will introduce a new link road providing access to the future housing site, as well as a traffic light-controlled entry and improved pedestrian crossings.
New traffic lights will be introduced at the A167’s Ricknall Lane junction, along with improved pedestrian crossing facilities.
All approaches to the A167/A689 Rushyford roundabout will be widened to three lanes, and improvements will be made to the roundabout’s layout. There will be new line markings too.
Full details of the traffic management measures needed to enable the scheme to be delivered will be communicated throughout the project.
Durham County Council has secured £7m from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) to deliver the scheme, which is scheduled for completion later this year.
The scheme also includes plans to plant nearly 1,000 trees, as well as hundreds of shrubs, and lengths of hedge.