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The long awaited A1 Dual Carriageway Road Improvement Scheme will move another step closer next month with Phase Two consultation publications and environmental assesments being published. Phase Two covers from Hillsborough to Loughbrickland with the stretch from Loughbrickland to Sheepbridge not included. Approximately 40,000 vehicles use the road per day.

Calls have been continually made for safety work to be carried out on the notorious stretch of road which has seen many fatal incidents over the years.

The Department for Infrastructure are commencing statutory procedures in March on Phase Two of the A1 Road Improvement Scheme when they will publish results of the Public Consultation, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and draft statutory orders for the scheme on the DFI Website.

There will be a further public consultation giving people the opportunity to have their say on the updated scheme proposals.

Following the public consultation, the Department will attempt to resolve any objections raised. If significant objections are raised to the proposed scheme then it may be necessary to hold a Public Inquiry.

These are key steps that need to be completed to progress this scheme which aims to deliver further safety improvements over the 25km stretch of the A1 dual carriageway between Hillsborough and Loughbrickland.

Project Proposals

Closure of all gaps in the central reserve and provision of a continuous central reserve safety barrier between Hillsborough Roundabout and Loughbrickland

The construction of a further four new flyover type junctions at: Listullycurran Road; Gowdystown Road; Skeltons Road/Drumneath Road; and Waringsford Road

A northbound on-slip to the A1 from Castlewellan Road, Banbridge

A new link road from the Milebush Road to the existing Hillsborough Road Junction at Dromore

Closure of a number of side roads with improvements to the remainder of side roads which will operate as left-in / left-out only

Closure of a number of Private Accesses along the route with the remainder operating as left-in / left-out only

Closure of all mainline bus-stops with new bus stops provided at the four new grade separated junctions

Provision of a number of driver information and communication systems at strategic locations along the route to improve safety and efficiency

Central Reservation Work Beginning March

The Department has also announced that work will commence on A1 next week (4 March) adding three sections of central reserve safety barrier totaling 1.3 kilometres at Dromore Bypass and close to Hillsborough.The work is expected to be complete in five weeks.

The £200,000 road safety improvement scheme on the A1 dual carriageway will take place at the Dromore Bypass and close to Hillsborough and will commence on 4 March 2019.

A number of gaps in the central reservation have already been closed up by the Department with central reserve safety barrier also added at three locations between Hillsborough and Loughbrickland over the last two years.

The temporary traffic management required to carry out the works safely will consist of speed restrictions and lane closures adjacent to the central median in both the northbound and southbound carriageways.  To minimise disruption to motorists, the lane closures are scheduled for overnight, between 8.00 pm and 6.00 am every night including weekends from 4 March until 3 April 2019.  The speed restrictions will apply at all times for the safety of road users ‎until works are fully completed.

Drivers should expect delays during the works.

Completion of the work by 3 April 2019 is dependent on favourable weather conditions, however, the Department will keep the public informed of any change.

For traffic information about this and other improvement schemes visit: www.trafficwatchni.com

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