£30.5million spent on local roads in the past year

The �540,000 upgrade of the junction of the B62 Cullybackey Road/Woodtown Road, Ballymena, is expected to be completed by the end of June. (Submitted Picture).
The �540,000 upgrade of the junction of the B62 Cullybackey Road/Woodtown Road, Ballymena, is expected to be completed by the end of June. (Submitted Picture).

Over £30million has been spent in the past year on road schemes in the Mid & East Antrim borough by the Northern Ireland Executive.

Presenting Transport NI’s Northern Division annual report for 2016-17 to the borough Council’s Community Planning Committee June meeting in Ballymena on Tuesday night, Northern Division Network Development Manager, Alan Keys, told members that the recent announcement from the Finance Minster of an additional £28million for the department was “a welcome boost” and it was expected a significant part of the funding would be used to improve rural roads and roads maintenance.

He said investment of more than £30million in Mid and East Antrim over the past year included work on a number of significant strategic road improvements such as dualling schemes on the A26 Frosses Road, A6 Randalstown to Castledawson, A2 Shore Road and A8 Belfast to Larne route.

Mr Keys told members that work on the £55million Frosses Road dualling scheme was progressing well - with some 55% of the works carried out - and, depending on weather, could possibly be completed ahead of schedule.

Of the £30,598,856 spent on Mid and East Antrim roads during the past year, the lion’s share went on such strategic road improvements - £21,509,000 (70%). Just over £3.4m (11.2%) went on structural maintenance; £1.9m (6.4%) on street lighting; £1.8m on routine maintenance (5.9%); £532,000 (1.7%) on winter service; £339.187 (1.1%) on structures; and £280,000 on minor improvements (0.9%).

Mr Keys said the junction improvement scheme at B52 Largy Road/Taylorstown Road/Ballybollen to improve safety for users totalling £200k had been completed. This involved local carriageway widening enabling the provision of right turning lanes in both directions on the main B52 Largy Road and 150m of footway close to the junction.

The committee also heard that the £540,000 upgrade of the junction of the B62 Cullybackey Road/Woodtown Road was nearing completion. The scheme involves realignment of a section of the Woodtown Road between the B62 Cullybackey Road and the Old Cullybackey Road to provide safer right and left staggered facility to improve safety for drivers approaching and at the junction.

Other local schemes completed last year included the upgrade of the zebra crossing in Broughshane to a Puffin crossing, a new zebra crossing on Parkway at Thomas Street roundabout and the provision of additional parking at Clough Primary School.

Mr Keys told the committee that over the coming year in the borough £1.3m is set to be spent on resurfacing 9.23km; £200,000 on 7.2km of footway resurfacing; £300,000 on surface dressing 53.27km of road; £130,000 on surface treatment of 9.28km; and £200,000 on 10 drainage schemes. He also stated that seven further schemes were proposed for the A2 Coast Road Programme in the coming year at a cost of £800,000.