Construction boost as Magherafelt bypass gets green light

Another boost for the construction industry: Transport Minister Danny Kennedy has announced his decision to proceed with the £40 million A31 Magherafelt bypass scheme.

Funding for the A31 Magherafelt bypass was approved in July 2013 and now Minister Kennedy has announced the making of the necessary Vesting Order and commencement of procurement for the scheme.

Minister Kennedy said: “The A31 provides the key transport route between Cookstown, Moneymore, Magherafelt and Belfast. The provision of a new bypass will generate a number of benefits for road users helping to reduce congestion, improve journey times and road safety in Magherafelt.

“The section of the A31 through Magherafelt currently carries approximately 25,000 vehicles per day (Broad Street) and is an important link for business, commuters, local residents and tourism.”

Construction of the scheme will provide approximately six kilometres of new carriageway between the A31 Moneymore Road at Coolshinney Road, south west of Magherafelt, and the A6 at Castledawson Roundabout, north east of Magherafelt. The scheme will incorporate a number of roundabouts, under bridges and dual acceleration lanes.

Subject to successful procurement, the scheme is programmed to commence late 2014 with construction expected to take 20 months to complete.

The Minister added: “In the current economic climate, this announcement of the A31 scheme proceeding will be welcome news for the construction sector. The scheme should lead to an increase in demand for local construction material, as well as a boost to commercial trade and the construction industry in the surrounding area.”