The first phase of the A6 Derry to Belfast dual carriageway project is nearing completion, it has been confirmed.
Infrastructure government officials said the new road will provide a “welcome boost for road users” as traffic will be able to use a seven kilometre stretch of the new dual carriageway between Randalstown and Toome from Monday August 5.
A weekend closure of the Moneynick Road begins at 10.00pm tomorrow, Friday 2 August, to will enable works to be carried out to link the new dual carriageway with the existing road network.
This will allow traffic to use the new dual carriageway between Randalstown and Toome for the first time on Monday morning.
A spokesperson for the Department of Infrastructure said: “As part of the phased traffic management plan, traffic will still be merged into one lane in each direction in the vicinity of the M22 Junction 3.
“In this area there will be a 50mph speed restriction for a distance of several hundred metres, after which traffic will have unrestricted use of the new dual carriageway.
“Road users are asked to follow the signage in place and drive with extra care while they become familiar with the new road layout. Drivers should always adhere to speed limits and respect road workers working in the vicinity of the works.”
The entire £185million Dualling Scheme will upgrade 14.7 kilometres of the A6 North Western Transport Corridor between Randalstown and Castledawson.
The project is being delivered for the Department by Graham Farrans Joint Venture, who have thanked local business owners, residents and road users for their patience and support during the works.
The opening of seven kilometres of new dual carriageway has been hailed is a positive step forward in the project and welcome news for the 20,000 vehicles using the route each day.
The flagship project will strengthen the links between Belfast and the North West and will bring long term benefits to road users and the local community.
Works will continue at the M22 Junction 3 at Randalstown for a further four weeks. The entire Randalstown to Toome section will be formally opened when these works are complete.
SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan has welcomed new.
The Foyle MLA commented: “I welcome the first step of many on this long road towards the completion of the first step of a £185 million dualling scheme; which will provide vital infrastructure for the North West.
“Finally, the historic struggle for decent linkages between Derry and Belfast is making headway. This flagship project will bring with it increased economic opportunities, jobs and overall social prosperity for areas in the North which up until now have suffered from substantial economic disparity and lack of investment.
“This progress is great news for commuters and we look forward to the completion of the next phase. The SDLP will also continue to fight for improved rail connectivity for Derry and the North-West.”
Mr Durkan concluded:“I am hopeful that improved travelling networks will mark the beginning of a journey towards a more prosperous future for this region, providing lasting benefits for road-users and local communities alike.”