Work on Derry road resurfacing contract underway says Mallon

Transport minister Nichola Mallon has indicated procurement of new road resurfacing contracts for Derry and Strabane is now ‘underway’.

By Kevin Mullan
Saturday, 5th March 2022, 8:02 am

Last year the Department of Infrastructure (DfI) had to rerun competitions for contracts in Derry and Strabane; Omagh; Newry, Mourne and Down; and Mid Ulster, after three unsuccessful tenderers issued a legal challenge.

This meant that the appointment of a road contractor for the Derry and Strabane areas has been delayed until this year.

Speaking in the Assembly this week, Ms. Mallon said progress is being made on the procurement process.

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Almost £40m was spent on road maintenance in Derry/Strabane over the five years 2015/16 to 2019/20.

“Following the legal challenge to the asphalt resurfacing contracts competition, my Department has been working at pace to implement a new interim-term contract strategy to ensure that much-needed resurfacing work is carried out in the areas affected by delays.

“The new strategy consists of four phases with six new term contracts in each.

“Procurement of the first phase is well progressed. That phase includes contracts for Newry and Mourne, Down, Strabane, Magherafelt, Dungannon and Omagh. Tenders are being assessed, with the award of contracts anticipated in the coming weeks. Work on the second phase, which includes contracts for Cookstown, Derry, north Belfast, Ballymena, Armagh and Larne and Carrickfergus, is under way, with contracts expected to be awarded in May. The third and fourth phases are scheduled to begin procurement this summer,” she stated.

Meanwhile, Ms. Mallon also pointed to the progression of a major contract for the Skeoge Road.

“A £1.3 million contract to resurface part of the Skeoge Road in Derry was recently awarded, and the award of the contract to resurface part of the A29 dual carriageway at Cookstown is expected shortly. One-off resurfacing contracts for the Coleraine Ring Road and the Castledawson area are out to tender, and a number of others are in the pipeline for implementation in the coming months,” said the minister.

Recently, Ms. Mallon revealed that £38,353,000, in total, was spent on structural road maintenance in the Derry and Strabane area over the five years 2015/16 to 2019/20.

The annual spend increased from £4,408,000 in 2015/16 to £9,270,000 in 2019/20. Structural maintenance includes carriageway and footway resurfacing, patching, surface dressing, carriageway refurbishment and structural drainage and stability.