Two road improvements schemes totalling £1.5million are to get underway in the Stiles Way and Steeple Road of Antrim.
A £300,000 scheme to provide a continuous footway/cycleway along Stiles Way and a £1.2million junction improvement scheme will both start later this year.
Work on the three kilometre cycle scheme will start at Greystone Road Roundabout and extend to Stiles Way Roundabout at Ballymena Road. The scheme will also include for the provision of a short section of route along the along Fountain Hill as far as Parkhall Road. Work is expected to start on site in February, with completion by the end of March.
The upgrade of the junction of Stiles Way and Steeple Road is expected to start before Christmas subject to land acquisition and when designs have been finalised. The new layout will retain traffic signal control but the proposed new layout will lead to significant increases in capacity for the junction. Work is due to be completed by March 2015.
Roads Minister Danny Kennedy said: “The cycling scheme will provide a continuous shared footway/cycleway along Stiles Way which will link the existing pedestrian and cycle routes in the Greystone Road/Ballycraigy Road areas through to the Ballymena Road near Junction 1 and towards the Loughshore Trail which forms Route 94 of the National Cycle Network.
“In addition, we are increasing capacity at one of Antrim’s key junctions. Significant volumes of traffic use Stiles Way each day, taking traffic away from Antrim town centre and it is an important route to and from the Airport. Steeple Road is also busy with traffic to and from the Antrim Area Hospital on the one side of Stiles Way and large schools, industrial and housing areas on the other side. This substantial investment in the roads infrastructure in Antrim will make it easier and safer for pedestrians and cyclists using this junction and it will complement the provision of the new cycleway along Stiles Way.”