North Antrim UUP MLA Robin Swann has called on the Stormont Regional Development Minister “not to take her foot off the accelerator when it comes to finishing the much-needed A26 Frosses dual carriageway”.
Assemblyman Swann, who is UUP Chief Whip and North Antrim UUP Chairman, has been a long-time campaigner to combat one of the constituency’s worst accident blackspots at the Frosses.
Mr Swann issued his challenge to the Regional Development Minister after receiving an update on the A26 project from the minister. He had asked the Minister for Regional Development for an update on the dualling of the A26 from Glarryford to the Drones Road.
Responding to Assemblyman Swann, Minister Michelle McIlveen said: “The 5 mile long A26 dualling scheme between Glarryford and the A44 Drones Road junction represents a £55million investment by the Northern Ireland Executive.
“It forms part of the Northern Key Transport Corridor which is an important link between the Belfast Metropolitan area to Antrim, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Coleraine, Limavady and Londonderry, providing access to the Antrim Glens and the North Coast of Northern Ireland.
“Construction commenced in April 2015 and I am very pleased to advise that work has been progressing well with approximately 35% of the works completed.
“The earthworks activity has been ongoing at several locations along the scheme with approximately 320,000 cubic meters of material moved to date. Work has also commenced on 4 of the 8 major structures, with 2 of them substantially complete.
“The utility diversions are approximately 70% complete and 12 culverts have also been installed. The realignment of a section of the River Clough and the demolition of the Crankhill Bridge has been completed and work is continuing on the drainage networks and road pavement construction.
“This excellent scheme, which is expected to be completed by summer 2017, will improve both journey times and journey time reliability for this stretch of the A26, thus reducing driver frustration and improving the safety performance of the route for all road users,” the Minister told Assemblyman Swann.
Mr Swann added: “This A26 dualling is absolutely imperative if we are to rid the constituency of the reputation of having one of the most notorious accident blackspots in Northern Ireland,” said Assemblyman Swann.