Mallon opens £189million A6 Dualling Scheme
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has opened the completed A6 Randalstown to Castledawson Dualling Scheme following the final weekend of works on site by the GRAHAM FARRANS JV.
The £189 million scheme to upgrade 14.7 kilometres of the A6 North Western Transport Corridor between Randalstown and Castledawson commenced in June 2017 and represents an investment of £189 million by the Department.
This weekend the final works to remove the remaining cones and temporary traffic management arrangements were completed and by Monday 31 May the entire 14.7 kilometres of the road opened for road users with national speed limit in place.
During a visit to the area to congratulate all those involved in delivering the scheme Minister Mallon said:
“This is an exciting time for road users, the local community and all those involved in delivering the Flagship A6 Randalstown to Castledawson scheme as we celebrate the completion of works this weekend. I’m delighted to have the opportunity today to meet some of those who have worked tirelessly on this project over the past four years.
“In August 2019 and again in November 2020 stretches of the new dual carriageway were completed and gradually opened to the travelling public. This has already brought significant benefits for road users. The final completion of the scheme is therefore fantastic news for the 22,000 vehicles using the route each day. Car users, freight and public transport services along this route will benefit from shorter, safer and more reliable journey times. Crucially this will also allow our emergency services to achieve faster response times when assisting our citizens in need.
“The scheme has also helped to secure jobs in the construction industry, with the vast majority of construction spend going directly to the local economy. Significantly the project provided local employment opportunities for education leavers and the long term unemployed as well as training placements for apprentices and students across a number of disciplines. This has been an invaluable experience for all those involved and will assist them in their future careers.”
Continuing the Minister said:
“The A6 is a strategically important route, as it connects the North West to Belfast and beyond so I’m delighted that in addition to this scheme opening my Department continues to progress the Flagship £220m A6 Dungiven to Drumahoe Dualling scheme which will see the construction of a further 25.5 kilometres of dual carriageway and a bypass of Dungiven. Significant progress continues to be made on that scheme and it is on target to be completed in 2022.
“The construction of both these schemes will improve connectivity, contribute to the economic development of the area and bring long term benefits to road users and local communities. Crucially they will also improve road safety and improve regional balance.”
Acknowledging the support of the local community and the partnership working to deliver the scheme Minister Mallon said:
“I want to acknowledge the impact of the works on residents, landowners, businesses and road users. Delivering extensive improvements to the roads infrastructure cannot be done without causing significant disruption. I’m sure at times this has been very frustrating, particularly for those living in the vicinity of the works, so I want to thank the local community for their cooperation and understanding over the past four years. I hope that everyone will see the wider benefits this road is now providing.
“A project of this size and significance requires partnership working across a number of organisations to ensure it runs smoothly. The job of constructing such a major piece of Infrastructure is no mean feat and two of our largest contractors, Graham Construction and Farrans, have worked together in a Joint Venture along with our consultants AECOM, designers ARUP and Roughan & O’Donovan and many sub-contractors and suppliers to deliver this project. I am also very grateful for the input from public sector partners. To all involved, you can be rightly proud of your contribution to this impressive new road.”
Leo Martin, Board Director of GRAHAM FARRANS JV said:
“The completion of the A6 Randalstown to Castledawson dualling project will unlock a huge infrastructure route for the North West Transport Corridor and we are delighted to have played our part in delivering this.
“Since first breaking ground in summer 2017, we have overcome multiple engineering challenges and managed the project through strategic weekend closures to maximise safety and productivity throughout the project. This has been a huge scheme that has brought the scope and breadth of our civil engineering expertise into sharp focus.
“I would like to thank all stakeholders involved in the project for their tremendous efforts and to the public and businesses on the route for their patience and cooperation while we were improving this important highway.”