16th December 2022

PROJECT: A19 Testos Roundabout and Downhill Lane Junction Improvement Works

On behalf of National Highways as part of their Regional Investment Programme (RIP), working with the Delivery Integration Partner Costain, we have recently delivered a range of vegetation, maintenance and enhancements for the North and Southbound carriageway and junction improvements to the A19 trunk road in the North East.

Testo’s and Downhill Lane junctions are two adjacent junctions on the A19 in South Tyneside. The Downhill Lane area is 34.5 acres and lies about 1km south of Testo’s, which itself lies just over 4km south of the Tyne tunnel entrance at Jarrow. Testo’s junction is a 53 acre site which has had a long history of congestion. It was the only major ‘at-grade’ junction on the A19 south of the River Tyne and had to cope with all through traffic on the A19 and the A184, which was particularly heavy at peak times.

Challenges and solutions

All works carried out in safety critical highways environment under strict programmes, critical path and dedicated roadspace bookings, requiring discipline, effective planning and resourcing and flexibility for mitigating and addressing change. The contract presented challenges requiring innovative thinking and collaborative working. We worked with the client to provide solutions for design challenges. We assisted them to overcome safety issues of installing conventional erosion protection to steep bridge wingwalls, introducing them to our ‘Flex terra’ spray on erosion solution. Despite the client procuring materials for their original design solution, this was shelved in favour of our more cost effective and safe installation. We received plaudits in the project innovation awards. 

Community engagement

We supported the Project targets with community engagement and social value including supply/planting of trees to a local grass roots football team, provision of nature areas for local schools, and grounds maintenance for local charities. In summary the PM stated we “worked collaboratively to ensure the success of the project as well as giving back to the community. As a valued partner we look forward to working with them again in future.”


The scheme has won the following awards:

• Gold National Site Award from the Considerate Constructors Scheme

• Winners of the CECA North-East Award for Health and Safety

• Finalists for the Construction News Awards, for Health and Safety

• Finalists for the British Construction Industry Awards, for Community Engagement

• Finalists for the Highways Awards, for Highways Partnership Award