Drivers can expect long delays and detours as half of the roundabout over the A1(M) at Darlington will close from next week.

The southern half of the roundabout at junction 59 on the motorway will be closed 24/7 for 10 weeks while engineers repair the bridge.

It means drivers heading up the A167 to Newton Aycliffe from Darlington will be rerouted south on the A1(M), before having to turn around at the next junction and coming back up the motorway.

Delays are expected while the work is carried out and motorists are being urged to plan ahead for the closure.

Narrow lanes will also be installed on the A1 northbound under the bridge with a 50mph speed limit in place.

The work, which also included resurfacing and new lighting, will begin on April 2, with the road fully closed for 10 weeks from 6am on Friday April 5.

National Highways Programme Delivery Manager Stuart Allanson said: “We understand the importance of this junction to the community and aim to complete this work as quickly as possible.

“We really appreciate the public's patience and cooperation, and we remain committed to safe and reliable road networks for all.

“To make sure the junction remains safe and to minimise longer-term disruption, we are carrying out significant repairs to the bridge. Once this has been carried out, we can also reopen both lanes. 

See where the road will be closed

The red line on this map shows the part of the roundabout which will be closed.

“The forthcoming work at junction 59 reflects our commitment to maintaining safety and improving infrastructure across the North East.

“Additionally, the upgrade in lighting and resurfacing will further improve safety and create much smoother journeys, benefiting all road users.”

Drivers previously complained to the Echo of cones on the A167 which had become something of a permanent feature on the approach to the roundabout, blocking off one lane.

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Diversions will be in place throughout the works.

For vehicles and drivers allowed on the motorway, the diversion will take road users south on the A1(M) to junction 58, Burtree, before returning northbound on the A1(M) to junction 59 to continue north or to rejoin the A167. Non-motorway traffic will be diverted via the A68, joining the A6072 before using B6444 to rejoin the A167.

Full details of the works and diversions can be found on National Highways’ website.