Transport Minister Danny Kennedy has cut the first sod of the £55 million A26 Glarryford to A44 Drones Road Dualling scheme.
The scheme will extend over 8km, consisting of 7km of new dual carriageway, a new roundabout at the junction of the A44 Drones Road as well as a number of grade separated junctions along the scheme, which will provide access to the new and local road network.
Works are expected to be completed in summer 2017.
Danny Kennedy said: “These works, which will take 28 months to complete, are of significant importance to the economic development of Northern Ireland.
“Upgrading this stretch of the A26 to dual carriageway will help grow the local economy and contribute to the wider economic development in Northern Ireland, both in the short term and in the long term.”
Site works are currently ongoing on the scheme by the Joint Venture of BAM/ McCann including ground investigation, ecological surveys and other enabling works along the scheme.
The Minister continued: “I would like to acknowledge the impact that this scheme has had on the affected landowners and thank them for their co-operation to date and in anticipation of their continued co-operation throughout the construction period.”
Finally, the Minister congratulated all those involved in reaching this important milestone for the Department.
He said: “I would like to wish the delivery team, including BAM/ McCann Joint Venture, their designer Ramboll Hoy and Dorman, their sub-contractors, as well as my Department’s Transportni and their consultants ARUP, every success during scheme construction.
“I look forward to the completion of the scheme in summer 2017.
“I have no doubt this scheme will be of significant benefit to both strategic traffic and other road users in the local community.”
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