Part of A1 closed after huge sinkhole opens up

The crater is 5 metres wide and 3 metres deep


Part of A1 closed after huge sinkhole opens up

A huge sinkhole has opened up on a major North East road, causing headaches for motorists heading towards the Metrocentre shopping centre.

The A1 northbound in Gateshead is currently shut between junctions 67 near Lamesley and 68 near Lobley Hill after the crater appeared.

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The sinkhole, which is reported to be 5m wide by 3m deep, was reported to police at around 11.45pm on Saturday.

A statement from Northumbria Police read: "At around 11.45pm on Saturday, 25 June, police were contacted by the Highways England reporting that a large sinkhole (5m wide and 3m deep) on the A1 near to the Lobley Interchange on the Northbound carriageway.

"This has resulted in the carriageway between Coal House (junction 67) and Lobley Hill (junction 68) being closed this morning as work takes place to fill the void found underneath the road.

"Nobody has been injured and officers are working closely with Highways England to assist with traffic management."

A statement from Highways England said: "The A1 was closed overnight between junctions 67 and 71 as part of essential work to upgrade the carriageway between Coal House and the Metro Centre. During these works a large carriageway defect was discovered underneath the road between J67 and J68 which has made it necessary to keep that section of road closed whilst we undertake work to repair this defect and make the road safe.

"Highways England and its contractors are working hard to repair the carriageway so it is safe for road users. The defect, which was identified as being caused by an old mining shaft, is approximately 3 metres deep and approximately 5 metres wide and covers all lanes of the carriageway.

"We are currently repairing the damage through filling the space with concrete; this will then need to set before the carriageway can be resurfaced and safely reopened to traffic.

"Early expectation is that the road will remain closed for at least today (26 June), possibly longer."

It added: "A clearly signed diversion is in place at Junction 67, with drivers advised to follow the route marked with the solid triangle symbol on local road signs – this takes traffic through the Team Valley trading estate and re-join the A1 at J68, however it is expected that this diversion will get extremely congested therefore drivers are advised to avoid the area if possible. Any drivers who need to use the route are advised to leave extra time for their journeys."

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