Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has opened a £61M upgrade to the A1.
The scheme is intended to benefit 116,000 drivers that use the road every day.
As part of the project, Highways England upgraded a 1.6km stretch on the A1 from the Coal House at Junction 67 to Metro Centre at Junction 71. The scheme created 300 jobs, with 97% of workers drawn from the North East.
The route now has three lanes running in both directions.
The project also covered 150,000m2 along a 0.53km stretch on the A1 between Lobley Hill and Gateshead Quays. The work included 19.3km of new kerbs made from recycled plastic bottles.
“This major upgrade to the A1 is part of the most ambitious, far-reaching road investment strategy for decades. It will not only benefit those who use the road every day but deliver jobs and opportunities, benefiting families across the North of England,” said McLoughlin.
“Schemes like this are a crucial part of our plan to create a Northern Powerhouse, connecting our cities and towns and ensuring economic growth is spread more evenly across the UK.”
“This project has taken us less than two years to complete and will provide vital transport improvements on this stretch of the A1, reducing congestion and increasing capacity,” added Highways England project manager Lynne Biddles.
“The extra lanes will benefit the thousands of drivers who use the route every day, and the new link roads will mean local traffic will have a dedicated route between Lobley Hill and Gateshead Quays.”