Kennedy progress on £2.7million investment

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Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy has set out TransportNI’s progress on investment totalling £2.7million for road improvement and maintenance schemes in the Ballymoney area this year.

Speaking at last Monday’s meeting between TransportNI and Ballymoney Borough Council, Danny Kennedy said: “A wide range of road improvement and maintenance schemes are planned or already complete in the Ballymoney Borough Council area.

“Last month I announced the appointment of consortium BAM/McCann as contractor for the A26 Dualling scheme between Glarryford and the A44 Drones Road junction. This eight kilometre scheme represents an investment of £55million, including land acquisition.

“Work is expected to start by the end of this year, running for a period of 28 months, with completion expected in early to mid 2017.

“The autumn round of Council meetings is a timely opportunity for Councils to discuss potential schemes and priorities.

“The impact of current resource budget pressures on my Department is affecting routine maintenance of the road network. While there remain pressures on capital budgets Departmental officials will continue to develop resurfacing and traffic management schemes, to enhance safety, to improve traffic flow and provide measures for pedestrians and cyclists.

“I will, however, continue to bid in monitoring rounds for further capital for structural maintenance to maintain the integrity of the road network.

“Officials from my Department are currently engaging with the Chief Executives of the new councils to ensure the transition from 26 to 11 councils enables us to continue our good working relationships with councillors and the new councils.”

At the meeting, TransportNI Principal Engineer Colin Hutchinson highlighted a number of improvement and maintenance schemes currently planned or progressed.

He welcomed expenditure on structural maintenance which had allowed the Division to deliver many needed projects including over five kilometres of carriageway resurfacing incorporating works completed at A26 Newbridge Road, B62 Craigs Road, B96 Townhill Road and B67 Benvardin Road.

In addition to the resurfacing programme over 36kilometres of carriageway was surface dressed at a cost of £198,000.

Colin Hutchinson said: “I am also pleased to note the completion of a footway on Castlecatt Road, Dervock which provides a pedestrian link to the village for a number of houses and Dervock Reformed Presbyterian Church.

“A £77,000 maintenance scheme has also been carried out at Benvardin Bridge involving repairs to the parapets, replacement of the copings and cleaning and repainting of the steel beams. ”

Speaking at the meeting, councillors praised the work of the Roads Service and the investment into the borough.