Work will start on the A1 Coal House to Metro Centre improvement scheme this summer, widening four miles of the A1 Western Bypass near Gateshead to three lanes in both directions.
The Highwasy Agency said that the overall cost of the project was £61m.
As well as adding more capacity on the A1, Balfour Beatty will build a new 0.33 mile parallel link road, for north and south-bound traffic, between Lobley Hill and A184 Gateshead Quays junctions.
“Once completed in spring 2016 the £61 million A1 improvement to the Western Bypass will not only increase capacity by widening the road north to Metro Centre junction and south to Coal House junction, but will also reduce congestion and help economic growth in the area,” said roads minister Robert Goodwill.
As previously reported, the initial plan was to widen less than one mile of the A1 Western Bypass at Gateshead but after £19m of savings were found in the design phase of the original scheme, the Department for Transport agreed to reinvest the savings in the area and expand the scheme.
Nicholas Pollard, chief executive of Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK, said: “Originally built 40 years ago, this section of road is currently one of the more congested sections of road on the Highways Agency’s network. We are delighted to have been selected to carry out these essential improvement works which will increase road user capacity by 30%, reduce congestion and support regeneration and development, helping to boost the local economy."
Balfour Beatty’s professional services division, Parsons Brinckerhoff, provided design support for the scheme.