Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy has set out Roads Service’s progress on investment totalling £4.8million for road improvement and maintenance schemes in the Antrim Council area this year.
Mr. Kennedy said: “A wide range of road improvement and maintenance schemes are planned, or have already been completed, in the Antrim Council area and the Autumn round of Council meetings is a timely opportunity for Councils to discuss potential schemes and priorities.”
Additional funds secured by the Minister in the recent budget review will enable advance procurement and preparation to proceed for the A6 Randalstown - Castledawson dual carriageway.
Commenting on his recent visit to the A8 Belfast to Larne dualling scheme, the Minister said: “Progress on the improvement scheme is impressive and it is on schedule to be complete and open to traffic by Spring 2015.
“With over 80% of the pipe culverts and other utility diversions complete, works are progressing well on the key structures and bulk earthworks activities.
“Upgrading the A8 to dual carriageway will help grow the local economy, improve transport links from Antrim to the Port of Larne and contribute to the wider economic development across Northern Ireland.”
At a meeting with Council, Divisional Roads Manager Deidre Mackle highlighted a number of improvement and maintenance schemes completed or being progressed.
An infill footway has been constructed within the existing verge width on Seven Mile Straight south of Loanends, connecting the existing footway at Loanends to the existing footway just beyond Long Rig Road at a cost of £61,000.
Construction of an infill footway on Castle Road between Edenduff Cottages and Milltown Road is nearing completion. The footway is being constructed on the existing verge width without the need for land acquisition.
A new bus lane has been constructed on the Dublin Road from the junction of Castle Street through the signalised junction at Castle Way and Dublin Road and as far as the link road to Market Square. This work is an essential part of the current Public Realm Scheme that will move the main bus stop area in the town centre into Market Square. This scheme will remove the existing Fire Lane outside the Police Station and involve changes to traffic movements approaching the junction at this location. There will be no reduction in capacity at the junction and emergency vehicles will be able to use the bus lane instead of the present dedicated Fire Lane.
Recently completed structural schemes include, £1.1million of resurfacing in the Antrim area including stretches at A57 Dublin Road, B95 Greystone Road, C26 Longrig Road and B93 Ahoghill Road. Over 25kilometres of surface dressing was also completed in the Antrim Council area at a cost of £143,000.