9 August 2007 Edition

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Newry - Dundalk Dual Carriageway opens

Sinn Féin Transport Minister in the Six Counties, Conor Murphy, MP, MLA and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, MP, MLA, last Thursday, 2 August participated in the official opening of a new 14 km (9 mile) dual carriageway between Newry and Dundalk. Dermot Ahern, TD, Minister for Foreign Affairs also took part in the event.
Conor Murphy said:
“This is an excellent example of Roads Service working across the island with their counterparts in the National Roads Authority and Louth County Council on a project that will improve journey times and safety for all.
“I am sure, like me, many of you have watched with interest and anticipation this new stretch of dual carriageway take shape and are now looking forward to actually travelling on it and experiencing the benefits that it provides.
“The completion of the 4.5 km stretch of new road in the North, at a cost of £33 million, marks a further step in my Department’s commitment to upgrade the A1 to dual carriageway standard.”
Conor Murphy also confirmed that work on the £109 million scheme to upgrade the route between Beech Hill and Cloghogue to a high standard dual carriageway is expected to commence very shortly. This work together with new flyover junctions at Hillsborough, Dromore, Banbridge and Loughbrickland will form part of Package 2 of Roads Service’s Design, Build, Finance and Operate programme.
Martin McGuinness added:
“This strategic road which links Belfast and Dublin on Ireland’s Eastern Seaboard makes a substantial contribution to the social and economic well-being of our communities both north and south, including the busy cities of Lisburn and Newry and thriving local towns like Banbridge.”
The northern section of the scheme, includes bridges carrying the new dual carriageway over the Belfast – Dublin Railway Line and Newtown Road and a new bridge for Lower Newtown Road over the new road. The most obvious part of the works is the substantial earthworks along the whole length of the scheme including the major rock cutting at Cloghogue Mountain between Ellisholding Road and Forkhill Road. In line with good construction practice most of the excavated material has been processed on site and used in the construction.
Environmental considerations have been an important aspect of this project, not least because of its location within the Ring of Gullion Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The scheme includes mitigating measures relating to noise, landscaping, water quality and the protection of wildlife.
Roads Service is also progressing its proposals to upgrade the remaining section of road from Beech Hill to Cloghogue to full dual carriageway standard.

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