Work looks set to get underway on the A6 Randalstown to Castledawson dualling scheme in October, following a £160m investment announcemant.
Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard announced on Wednesday his decision to proceed with the dualling scheme.
The scheme will provide approximately 14.7km of new dual carriageway: 7.3km between Randalstown and Toome and 7.4km between Toome and Castledawson.
“One of my key priorities over the next five years is redressing the North’s infrastructure deficit, particularly west of the Bann,” Mr Hazzard said.
He added: “I am determined to contribute towards economy growth in a regionally balanced way and I believe it is vital that infrastructure projects such as this are prioritized.
“My commitment to this area in delivering this £160million flagship investment will strengthen the links between Belfast and Derry and positively develop the A6 as a key transport route into the wider North West area.”
Mr Hazzard said that road users and the local community will directly benefit from this new all-purpose dual carriageway as it will reduce journey times and improve road safety.
“I am confident that my decision to proceed with the scheme will come as welcome news for the construction industry and I look forward to continuing work to deliver the project with the Joint Venture contractor for the project Grahams/Farrans,” he said.
He added that there will be a considerable focus on social sustainability incorporating targeted recruitment and training opportunities for both young and long-term unemployed people.
The Department is now moving to make the necessary vesting which is aimed at facilitating construction in October. Advanced ground investigation work is underway and archaeological investigatory work is due to commence in the coming week.