Work to reduce the risk of flooding in North Tyneside is underway.
Northumbrian Water started work on the £1.8 million scheme in the Monks Wood area of North Shields earlier this week.
The scheme, which is being carried out by Northumbrian Water′s supply partners, Esh-Stantec and in partnership with North Tyneside Council, is due for completion by the end of October 2019.
It will include a series of grassed basins off Beach Road, and a new sewer pipe from Whitehouse Primary School to Tynemouth Swimming Pool.
Northumbrian Water will be using a modern tunnelling method to install the new sewer pipe underneath the road, to avoid digging it up and prevent long-term road closures.
However, some temporary traffic management will be in place for the first three weeks, while initial work is carried out to enable safe site access and protection of other underground utilities before the tunnelling begins.
This will include a lane closure along Beach Road, Monday to Friday, during off-peak hours, beginning at 9.30am and ending at 3.30pm, and the closure of a short section of shared-use path. A diversion will be in place for pedestrians and cyclists between the two pedestrian crossings on Beach Road.
Northumbrian Water′s Project Manager, Ashley Ferguson, said: "We′re committed to reducing the risk of flooding to our customers′ homes and businesses, so we′re pleased to begin work on this scheme.
"We′ve been talking to residents about this scheme over the last twelve months and we′ve redesigned some of our plans, as a result of the feedback we′ve had.
"One of the things we′ll now be using on this scheme is trenchless technology, which just means that we don′t need to dig up the main road to carry this work out, although I appreciate there will still be some short term disruption for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.
"We know this area is a busy area and we′d like to say thank you to our customers in advance for their patience while this part of the work is carried out."
The work is part of the company′s Rainwise initiative, to help protect residents from flooding in the future, by using sustainable drainage solutions or ‘SuDS.′
SuDS include solutions such as basins - landscaped areas which are seeded with wild flowers and trees and shrubs to manage rainwater naturally, and take the pressure off the sewer network.
They temporarily store water during heavy rainfall, before slowly releasing it back into the sewer network after the storm has passed.
Cllr Carl Johnson, North Tyneside Council′s Cabinet member for Environment and Transport, said: "As a council we are committed to reducing the risk of flooding to homes and businesses in the borough.
"We are very pleased to be working with Northumbrian Water on this important project to provide more protection and reassurance for local people.
"We would also like to thank people for their patience as the work takes shape. We know this is a well-used route and we will also be working together to ensure that any diversion is safe for both cyclists and pedestrians."
Customers can also follow the project on Northumbrian Water′s Community Portal at www.nwlcommunityportal.co.uk and by following the link to the Monks Wood page.