The key and most complex part of Highways England’s £355m A63 Castle Street scheme in Hull, lowering the level of the A63 at the Mytongate junction, is underway with the construction of the city centre’s new underpass.
Large and deep excavation work is underway to create the new 400m section of dual carriageway where east-west traffic will travel below north-south traffic along the city’s busiest route, ultimately creating better journey times and safer connections between the city centre and the retail and docks area.
Engineering work began this month and over the coming months the underpass’ wall panels will be formed, as well as intricate piling work.
Fran Oliver, Highways England Project Manager said: “We’ve already carried out a large amount of work within the A63 Castle Street scheme since last year, including the completion of Murdoch’s Connection footbridge and the demolition of the Arco and Myton Centre buildings. On top of that we’re reaching the conclusion of extensive on site archaeology work at the 18th century Trinity Burial Ground.
“As a major scheme full of complex work in a busy city centre, it presents several unique engineering challenges, and this latest and integral part of constructing the underpass is arguably the most complex.
“We’re on track for the scheme and I appreciate drivers and residents’ patience as we endeavour to keep any disruption to a minimum. I’d like to thank everyone for their ongoing understanding as we carry out this significant investment for Hull city centre which will bring real benefits for drivers and to region’s wider economy.”
Drivers are being urged to allow more time for their journey as they exit from Commercial Road on to the A63 westbound carriageway is closed, seven days a week, for around 12 weeks due to the depth of the excavation work and will be shut until around the end of October.
A variety of piling rigs to create large, deep excavations will be used throughout the area during the day, with signed diversions in place.
Over the coming months, contractors Balfour Beatty will install large piles into the ground up to 30m deep and under water to reduce noise levels. The first set of the underpass’ 200 wall panels will also be inserted. Around 40,000 cubic metres of material will be removed to make way for the underpass.
Work continues at pace on the construction of the nearby, new 37-metre-long Porter Street footbridge which will allow pedestrians and cyclists to safely cross the dual carriageway and ease congestion on the A63.
Fran added: “Several pedestrian crossings across the A63 Castle Street scheme have been closed to allow the underpass work to be carried out. We advise people to follow new ‘yellow brick’ diversion routes and stay safe.”
The completion of the A63 Castle Street scheme is expected to finish by 2025.
Keep up to date via the A63 Castle Street webpage, follow the Twitter account @HighwaysYORKS, or use Highways England’s new interactive ECHO tool where you can provide invaluable feedback which will help improve the scheme.