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.
This means that the Western Bypass will be improved from the Coal House junction up to the Metro Centre junction, not just from Lobley Hill to Dunston.
The scheme will now be known as A1 Coal House to Metro Centre. Construction is due to start in 2014/15.
As well as widening the A1, a new 0.33 mile parallel link road will be built adjacent to the main line A1, for north and south-bound traffic, between Lobley Hill and Gateshead Quays.
Roads minister Robert Goodwill said: “I am delighted that we have been able to reinvest the £19m savings made during the design process into further improving the infrastructure of the northeast. The A1 Western Bypass is a key strategic route and the provision of parallel link roads for local traffic will ease congestion and improve journey times.”
Highways Agency project manager Lynne Biddles added: “Once complete this scheme will increase capacity, reduce congestion for people using the A1 Western Bypass, and help support planned development in this area. Now the business case for extending it north to Metro Centre and south to Coal House has been accepted the benefits will extend even further.”