A new bridge over the A19 Testo's roundabout which is set to significantly reduce journey times for drivers is starting to take shape.

It is a 'integral milestone' in the £124.5m upgrade which will see the A19 raised above an existing roundabout at the East Boldon junction, meaning traffic will be able to drive straight through without stopping.

This latest stage of the scheme, which is set to be completed next summer, saw cross sections of the bridge lifted into place over two September weekends, as well as the new steel beams which will be the first horizontal parts of the structure crossing the roundabout.

Highways England project manager Liam Quirk said: "Reaching the integral milestone of placing the steel bridge beams – 99% of which were produced in the UK – is exciting to reach.

"It’s fantastic that people are now able to see this huge structure taking shape which when ready will reduce journey times for drivers and create safer and more free-flowing journeys.

"Putting the beams into place and completing this critical step of the scheme has been a huge collaborative effort from so many people, and I’d like to say a massive thank you to all involved.

"I’d also like to pass on my thanks to drivers and residents for their patience while we carry out the work."

The construction of the new A19 Testo’s bridge reaches latest milestone as beams are put in place

A full closure of the A19, including the approaches to the junction along the A184, will take place this weekend to allow further work on the bridge.

Drainage and resurfacing work around the roundabout is also scheduled to take place over the coming days.

The A19 will be closed to traffic between 8pm on Friday, October 2, until 6am on Monday, October 5.

Diversion routes will be clearly signed and drivers are advised to check before setting off on their journey.