MLA Daithi McKay has written to the Minister for Regional Development whether TransportNI will ensure that the damage done to roads in the Loughgiel area due to heavy construction traffic will be repaired.
He asked: “I am aware that the roads in and around Loughgiel are currently being used to service a number of construction projects. I am also cognisant of the issues, and the concerns of residents, as a consequence of the increased heavy construction traffic in the vicinity. As you will know, heavy construction traffic has a more significant detrimental impact upon the carriageway than normal vehicular traffic. Therefore, to minimise disruption to the network and ensure any arising damage is repaired in an expeditious manner, my Department has collaborated with the developers to assist in managing the network in the area.
“Subsequently, I am pleased to advise you the developers have agreed, in consultation with my Department, to adhering to specific haulage routes. These routes, developed in partnership with all parties, have been designed to ensure that developers can deliver their projects, whilst also ensuring both minimal conflict between heavy construction traffic and to ensure the level of road usage by these vehicles is appropriately managed. In addition, where a road has been designated as part of a haulage route, the inspection frequency of that road has been increased above normal requirements. This provides further assurance that any defects occurring on these routes will be identified more rapidly than other similar roads which are subject to normal traffic flows.
“In addition to agreeing these routes, a number of the developers have also agreed to, where it can be demonstrated that they are the sole construction operator using the road for haulage, at their own expense, to undertake any remedial works required to ensure the road remains fit for purpose.
“Finally, I would advise, any other defects occurring on the road network around Loughgiel, which cannot be attributed to the construction works, will continue to be inspected and maintained in accordance with my Department’s inspection regimes and road safety maintenance standards. I trust that you find this response reassuring, insofar that my Department is not only maintaining the road network within its budgetary allocation, but is also, where possible, liaising with private sector contractors to assist with road maintenance where it can be demonstrated that their works have perniciously affected on the road network.”