A69 junction improvements

We’re improving the A69 Bridge End junction to reduce congestion and improve journey times and safety for all users. We are building a new stretch of the A69 under the current roundabout and constructing two new bridges across the A69 to form the junction.

Start date Autumn 2019
End date Autumn 2021
Cost £30 million

Latest updates

  • 08 November 2021

    Overnight full closure of A69 Bridge End roundabout – Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 November 2021

    We need to resurface the roundabout at A69 Bridge End. The current surfacing is temporary and needs to be replaced. The new surface will give smoother journeys and will reduce road noise. We’ll also put in new road markings and studs.

    To do this safely, we need to fully close the roundabout overnight (8pm to 6am) with diversions via Hexham West End. We will be working for two consecutive nights (Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 November).

    Traffic wishing to travel to and from Hexham will be diverted via the Hexham West end junction.

    Access to some businesses and residences will be restricted and controlled by our operatives at staffed access points at Hexham Auction Mart and Ferry Road junction.

    Those directly affected have been given information on how to access a site supervisor.

    Through traffic travelling on the new A69 mainline will not be affected.

    We will be regularly updating our social media channels - @HighwaysNEAST and https://www.facebook.com/HighwaysNEast/

  • 07 October 2021

    Today marked a major milestone for the project as MP for Hexham Guy Opperman and local councillors from Northumberland County Council (NCC) and Hexham Town Council visited the scheme to see first-hand the newly opened A69 mainline and hear about the work that’s been done and the benefits it will bring.  

    The roundabout opened to traffic mid-September followed by one lane of the mainline A69 at the end of the month.

    Guy Opperman MP for Hexham said:

    “This scheme is further upgrading and improvement of the A69. There’s more to do but this is a great start.

    “This is a commitment to Northumberland which will make the road safer and will make the region more attractive for business investment.”

    Some 80 per cent of the workforce for the project were from the North East, with half of those coming from north of the Tyne. Local suppliers were used wherever possible. 

    More than 200,000 tonnes of earth were excavated 11 metres below the old roundabout for the new A69.  

    Around 51 miles of steel reinforcement was used in the new structures which if to be laid end to end would stretch from Hexham to Holy Island.

    Due to the restricted size of the site, each new bridge was not built in its permanent position but build about 150m away and then driven into place on special multi-axal vehicles before being lowered into their permanent positions. 

    Work is approaching completion on the project with resurfacing on the way


  • 07 September 2021

    Milestone achieved as roundabout set to open on 13 September

    A major milestone is due to be completed on the A69 Bridge End improvement near Hexham, Northumberland, next week when part of the project opens to traffic.

    By 6am on Monday, 13 September, vehicles will be able to use the new roundabout on the scheme, which will ultimately reduce congestion and improve journey times and safety for all users.  

    This is an exciting landmark in the progress of this scheme and we are looking forward to being partially open to traffic from early on Monday morning.

    Road users are asked to drive appropriately around the new roundabout and to take their time getting to know the new layout, paying attention to signs and lane markings.

    To enable traffic to be switched on to the new circulatory, the eastbound carriageway of the A69 will be fully closed and there will be lane closures on the westbound carriageway from 8pm on Sunday 12 September. Diversions will be clearly signed.

    Once the roundabout is open, work will continue to prepare the mainline A69 to be opened up at the end of the month, weather permitting.

  • 13 August 2021

    Overnight resurfacing on A69 Bridge End improvement

    Completion of the A69 Bridge End roundabout improvement near Hexham, Northumberland, will move another step closer next week when resurfacing takes place.

    The approaches to the roundabout and the bridge decks will be resurfaced overnight from Wednesday 18 to Saturday 21 August.

    Then on Sunday 22 August, also overnight, the temporary safety barrier on the westbound carriageway will be shortened. This work can cause noise disruption so every effort will be made to complete it by 10pm.

    During the work full east and westbound overnight closures will be in place between Acomb and Corbridge with clearly signed diversions in place.

    We are currently planning further overnight eastbound overnight closures between now and the end of September. These will be needed to install some more drainage and surface the road to the west of the junction and the east bound slip road.

    We will also need overnight closures to surface the road at east end of the work area and remove the traffic management before fully opening the junction to traffic.

    For traffic updates follow @HighwaysNEAST






  • 12 May 2021

    New milestone as bridge decks lifted into place

    We have reached a pivotal moment in the major upgrade to A69 Bridge End improvements.

    A fascinating time lapse videoshows the remarkable progress made.


    The scheme will improve safety, reduce congestion, support economic growth and enhance access from the A69 into the town.

    Locals and commuters can now get their first glimpse of the bridge decks, which vehicles will drive over, after they were lifted into their final position ahead of this summer’s opening.

    The next few months will focus on street lighting, signs, kerbs, road surfacing, new fencing, barriers on slip roads, the roundabout and the A69 itself.

    From Monday, May 17, the eastbound carriageway of the A69 will be closed at Hexham for seven nights to enable resurfacing work on the Bridge End roundabout. Traffic will be diverted along the A6079 to Low Brunton, the B6318 Military Road and the A68 to rejoin the A69 at Stagshaw.

    Since work got underway last year the team have achieved over 140,000 safe working hours and provided continuous employment since the start of the pandemic, with no staff furloughed, and strict measures in place to protect their health. Around 80% of workforce are from the North East, half of which are from north of Tyne, and Highways England has also supported the region by using local suppliers and firms.

    After this summer’s opening to traffic landscaping and planting will be carried out, with all traffic management removed by the autumn.

  • 15 February 2021

    A69 Bridge End, Hexham – supporting local industries and workers

    What have we done so far?

    Despite the wild weather and the need to work differently due to Covid, work continues to progress well at Bridge End.

    Since starting on site in January 2020 we have achieved 140,000 safe working hours, with an average of 80% of workforce from the North East, 50% of which are from north of Tyne. We’re proud to have provided continuous employment throughout Covid with no staff furloughed or laid off and strict processes in place to protect their health.

    We’ve worked with local haulier firms and other local suppliers, keeping more of the North East in work and sourcing materials from local companies. For example, the bridge beams have been manufactured by Cleveland Bridge based in Darlington.

    We’ve removed 200,000 tonnes of muck to create the excavation 11 metres below the old roundabout where the new A69 will run.

    Stone work for this new road is 75% complete with 20,000 tonnes of quarried stone brought in from Barrasford.

    We’ve been getting our concrete locally too - so far, the plant at Acomb has mixed 3,500 tonnes of concrete for the bridge supports.

    So what’s next?

    We’ve been building the east and west bridge walls which will be complete by the end of February 2021. At the same time we’ve been constructing the bridge decks (the bit that vehicles will drive over) which will be jacked into their final position on the supporting walls by the end of March 2021.

    By the end of April 2021, the east retaining wall will also be complete. A retaining wall is a wall that’s used to support soil and earth when building a new structure like a bridge.

    From March until July we’ll be focussing on:

    • street lighting
    • signs
    • kerbs
    • road surfacing
    • new fencing
    • barriers on slip roads, the roundabout and the A69 itself

    This will mean we’ll be able to open the roundabout and the A69 to traffic in July 2021.

    Once that’s happened we will still have some work to complete. This will include landscaping and planting, before all the traffic management is removed this autumn.

    And for our local community…

    We always try to be the best neighbours we can so when St Oswin’s Church in Wylam asked the community for help we were happy to oblige.

    Reverend Tom Birch explained: “We needed to provide bird and bat boxes as part of our plans to expand and improve the Church Hall. An appeal for help put out on a local Facebook page was answered by an employee of Highways England who lives in Wylam.

    “The team working at A69 Bridge End in Hexham kindly made these for us, and we’re very grateful for their help.

    "I rejoice in such happy collaborations which result in good things for both the community and the environment.”

    Reverend Tom Birch

  • 04 December 2020

    December 2020 update

    Progress so far

    We have completed removing all the earth needed to clear the space for the new A69 carriageway. This work faced some unexpected surprises – with extra soft ground in one place, a spring and more substantial bedrock deposits in others.

    We have now completed the foundations to the bridge and are building up the abutments from which will hold the two new bridges.

    We are installing some large drainage pipes to the east side of the project, this will hold back and store rainwater falling onto the new road then slowly release it into the river Tyne.

    In December we will start to construct the bridges. We are using new methods to do this which are safer for the workforce. It will also reduce the time of construction, and mean that high winds won’t stop work as much in the winter months.

    We’ll build each bridge deck just above the ground on temporary supports starting with the bridge beams and then building the concrete deck on top off the beams until it is 95% complete.

    We’ll then use an industrial jack to lift it off the ground up to a height where it can be lowered on to a self-propelled vehicle which will drive them into place. These lifts are scheduled for April 2021.

    We will need to do some work to tie in the ends of the new bridges to the abutments to hold the bridge deck in place and complete the new roundabout connections to open the junction. Once the roundabout is open we will remove the temporary turnarounds and open the junction and mainline for traffic. After that we will complete the work on the slip roads and finish off all the landscaping works.

    How are we working through Covid?

    We have worked on site all the way through the Covid restrictions. All our staff work socially distanced with temperature checks before entering work sites, offices or the canteen.

    We have reached the milestone of 100,000 working hours on this project and have between 45-50 workers on site every day.

    We are very pleased that finding safe ways to continue working means that we have not had to lay any staff off or place anyone on furlough. We are proud to be supporting the economy of the North East with the majority of our workforce and the companies we use for materials and vehicles being from the North of England.


    Health and Safety

    Interserve, one of our contractors on the project, has won a company health and safety award for their role in setting up a safe Covid working site. Their work on A69 Bridge End is one of only four Interserve schemes in the UK to be considered for the overall award for 2020.

    Considerate Constructors Excellence award

    The inspector commented: “Overall the site is operating to an excellent standard and the site team are to be congratulated on their positive and pragmatic approach to dealing with the constraints imposed by the pandemic and the methodology that has evolved with the techniques to address these.”

    Following a virtual inspection the Bridge End project was awarded an ‘Excellence in Construction’ certificate by Considerate Constructors.

  • 01 July 2020

    Projects reaches first major milestone

    Drivers using the A69 trans-Pennine route near Hexham are about to see big changes as the multi-million pound upgrade reaches its first major milestone.

    The roundabout scheme at Bridge End will reduce congestion for the thousands of drivers who use this key northern route every day. It will support economic growth, improve access from the A69 into Hexham and improve safety.

    From Sunday (5 July) drivers heading in to Hexham will be able to use the newly constructed temporary turnaround point on the eastern side of the roundabout.

    The western turnaround will open on 18 July for drivers leaving Hexham and wishing to travel east on the A69. The temporary turnarounds will mean drivers can continue to easily assess Hexham when the main roundabout is closed.

    Once both turnaround points are open, the roundabout will close for 12 months. This will allow work to take place on building the bridge supports for the new roundabout. Once complete this major upgrade will lower the A69 under the junction so drivers are able to continue along the route without having to use the roundabout.

    During the roundabout closure the pedestrian footpath on the east bridge will be closed with a diversion to the west via Hermitage overbridge.

  • 09 June 2020

    Preparing for phase 2 - new traffic management

    We have been progressing well on the improvements at A69 Bridge End roundabout whilst ensuring we adhere to Government advice about social distancing and safe working practices.

    We are now approaching phase 2, where we will start the process of switching traffic between lanes.

    To do this safely we will be holding the following full overnight closures (8pm to 6am).

    Westbound carriageway for switch at Hermitage Wall and surfacing works between Stagshaw and Acomb:

    • Monday 29 June
    • Tuesday 30 June
    • Wednesday 1 July
    • Thursday 2 July
    • Friday 3 July
    • Monday 6 July
    • Tuesday 7 July
    • Wednesday 8 July
    • Thursday 9 July

    Eastbound carriageway between Acomb and Stagshaw

    • Friday 3 July
    • Saturday 4 July

    Corbridge bypass / Stagshaw junction

    In addition, there will be some routine maintenance work resurfacing the eastbound carriageway on the Corbridge bypass / Stagshaw junction.

    This requires overnight closures (7pm – 5am) between Corchester Bridge to Milkwell Lane on Monday 22 June, Tuesday 23 June, Wednesday 24 June, Thursday 25 June.

    In all cases clearly signed diversions will be in place and access to Hexham will be retained at all times.

Project information


The A69 is an important route between Newcastle and Carlisle that helps connect Scotland and the Tyne and Wear. It provides an arterial link between the north east and north west of England that is heavily used by hauliers and commuters. 

However, the A69 between Hexham and Newcastle is a particularly busy section, and there are often delays at peak travel times, particularly at the Bridge End roundabout where through traffic had to progress on the A69 via the roundabout. 

In recognition of the importance of this route, in 2016 we carried out the Northern Trans-Pennine Strategic Study which looked at how we could improve the A66 and A69, to increase trans-Pennine connectivity. 

As a result of this study, in March 2017 we announced a £220 million package of improvements as part of our congestion relief fund. This included a junction improvement along the A69 at the A69/A6079 Bridge End roundabout. 

This improvement will: 

  • improve access from the A69 and into Hexham 
  • make journey times more reliable 
  • support economic growth within the North of England 

We are changing the existing roundabout at Bridge End to a grade-separated junctions (you’ll have to go up or down a slip road to leave the A69). This means that traffic travelling along the A69 between Hexham and Newcastle or Hexham and Carlisle will no longer have to stop at this junctions, allowing motorists a free-flowing journey. 


Traffic information

Information about scheduled roadworks and events on our motorways and major roads.

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