Sinn Féin Councillor Tony Hassan has welcomed work on a new junction strategy and environmental surveys in connection with a proposed carriageway along the Buncrana Road.
The Journal revealed on Tuesday that new surveys were now being conducted as part of the groundwork for the proposed £50-£60m project.
Councillor Hassan said: “I welcome this news on the proposed Buncrana Road carriageway. I have long campaigned for action to be taken on this key road in our city.
“It is the main road corridor into Donegal and its upgrade would see the transformation of that part of the city and would open up opportunities for the development of the H2 site.
“We need to come up with workable solutions to easing the traffic gridlock along this road and at the same time unlock the key to the regeneration of that area in the next five to ten years.”
Consultants have begun work on a new junction strategy and environmental surveys., the Department for Infrastructure confirmed earlier this week.
Officials also said that the entire cost of the Buncrana Road project is expected to be the in the region of £50m to £60m.
“The Department has appointed engineering consultants Arup to assist with development of a scheme to upgrade the A2 Buncrana road between Pennyburn roundabout and the border with County Donegal,” a Departmental spokesperson said.
“Following traffic surveys conducted earlier this year, the consultant is developing a traffic model to assist the development of a junction strategy. “This will enable the carriageway and junction designs to be refined sufficiently to assist the identification of the preferred alignment.”
The spokesperson said that the scheme objective is to provide a four-lane carriageway from Pennyburn Roundabout to the border at Bridgend, a distance of around 4.5 kilometres.
In terms of next steps for the project, the department spokesperson said: “Subject to the availability of funding the publication of the Draft Orders and Environmental Statement could take place in 2020, with a public consultation event taking place sometime prior to this to invite public comment and opinion.”
It is now over a decade since the proposal to widen the Buncrana Road from the border to the strand road was detailed in the Regional Strategic Transport Network Plan.