Transport Minister Danny Kennedy has commended roads staff and contractors for the successful completion of road schemes in 2013/2014 which accounted for £6.78million investment in the roads infrastructure in the Antrim area.
Mr Kennedy said his Department has invested over £135million in structural maintenance, improving the many miles of road infrastructure across Northern Ireland in the last financial year.
“Despite ever increasing demands on budgets, DRD invested over £6.78million in delivering a comprehensive range of road schemes and maintenance work in the Antrim area,” Mr Kennedy said.
He added: “DRD is using its available resources highly effectively and continues to deliver quality public services in the Antrim area and across Northern Ireland.”
Highlighting resurfacing schemes, Mr Kennedy said: “Road users in the Antrim area have quickly realised the benefits of the investment by the Department with the completion of a number of significant lengths of carriageway resurfacing at a total cost of £1.76million, which included A57 Dublin Road, B95 Greystone Road, C26 Long Rig Road, U136 Ballydonaghy Road and B18 Roguery Road.”
Previewing the work scheduled in the area over the next year, he added: “Earlier this year I announced a £1.2million scheme to upgrade the Stiles Way Steeple Road junction which will increase the capacity at one of Antrim’s key junctions.
“The scheme is programmed to start before Christmas and be completed by March 2015. The new layout will retain traffic signal control but the proposals will lead to significant increase in capacity for the junction.
“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.”
Meanwhile, speaking at a meeting with Antrim Council, Principal Engineer, Cathal Brown, outlined some of the other significant areas of work completed by the Division.
These included a £185,000 scheme which converted the hard shoulder along Stiles Way, Antrim into a combined cycle/footway connecting the existing facilities at Ballycraigy Road and Ballymena Road; a £61,000 footway scheme on the Seven Mile Straight at Ballymather Lower connecting the existing provision at Loanends to the footway just beyond Long Rig Road junction.
Other schemes included a £20,000 footway scheme on the A6 Castle Road which connects the existing footway at Edenduff Cottages to the existing provision at Milltown Road and a £97,000 scheme to provide a bus lane on the Dublin Road providing direct access into the new bus stops in Market Square. £62,000 was spent under the Safer Routes to Schools programme upgrading existing signage and provision of new signage complete with flashing lights at Parkgate Primary School, Loanends Primary School, Groggan Primary School and Antrim Grammar / Parkhall College.