Civil servants are currently said to be ‘future-proofing’ the long-awaited multi-million pound road project which will be subject to a public inquiry prior to the construction phase.
Roads minister John O’Dowd has said the timetable for construction will depend on a range of factors including budget constraints.
The minister was asked for the an update on the A2 Buncrana Road scheme by the Foyle MLA Sinéad McLaughlin.
The SDLP representative asked whether the designs have been finalised; when the work will commence; and how much it will cost.
Mr. O’Dowd replied: “I am fully aware of the significance of the A2 Buncrana Road Improvement Scheme for the city of Derry in terms of improved transport links, road safety, active and sustainable travel, and its contribution to the regeneration of the area.
“My officials are currently finalising the design to ensure that it is appropriate and the project is future-proofed before consideration is given to bringing forward draft statutory Orders.”
He said it is not yet possible to say when the infrastructure scheme will be spade-ready.
“The timescales for progressing to procurement and construction will depend upon on a number of factors including the need for a public inquiry, the successful completion of statutory procedures and the availability of funding in future years for which budgets for my Department have not yet been agreed,” he said.
And the minister indicated the scheme will cost more than originally projected due to the increased cost of materials.
“The preliminary estimated cost for the project is £85m but this is currently under review as part of the detailed design and will also need to be revised to take account of current inflationary pressures.”