The A1 near Newcastle and Gateshead is due to be closed until Wednesday (June 29th) after a huge sinkhole at least 3m deep and about 6.5m in diameter appeared beneath the carriageway. Urgent concrete repairs and other such work is now underway.
The A1 northbound is closed between junctions 67 and 68, with those involved saying it’s thought that the hole appeared because of old mine workings in the local area. Work has been ongoing to make the carriageway safe for drivers, with extra measures being brought in to minimise disruption, including lifting toll barriers, suspending roadworks on other routes and introducing a contraflow on the southbound carriageway.
Duty operations manager at Highways England Rob Beckitt said: “We and our contractors have been working hard with partners since the hole was discovered last night, and will continue to do so to make the carriageway safe as quickly as possible. In the meantime, I urge all drivers in the area to check conditions before they set out and to leave plenty of extra time for their journeys.”
Scott Hall, Chief Superintendent of Northumbria Police, added that extra officers are now on duty to help ease congestion and ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum wherever possible.
Sinkholes are surface depressions that occur above a hole in the ground that has been formed by water passing over rock for however long. Ground collapse above these holes is almost always because of water flow, whether it’s down to rainfall, or broken waste or water pipes. Find out more about sinkholes on our blog now.