£160m estimate for A2 dualling from Eglinton

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Roads Minister Danny Kennedy says dualling the A2 from Eglinton to Limavady would cost up to £160million pounds but acknowledged such a scheme does not figure in his Departmental programme.

He also alluded to the fact that a proposal to build a bypass at Ballykelly has been parked for the time being.

The Minister told East Londonderry DUP MLA Gregory Campbell how funding constraints are prohibiting road construction North East of the city.

“At present there is no scheme proposal to dual the A2 from Eglinton to the Limavady Bypass in my Department’s road construction programme,” said Mr Kennedy.

“You will be aware that a preferred route was established in 2010 for a bypass of Ballykelly, but due to funding constraints, the scheme has not progressed any further,” he added.

The Roads Minister said the construction of a 14 kilometre dual carriageway from Eglinton, through Greysteel and on to Ballykelly and Limavady would present a number of difficulties and would cost over £100million.

“A dual carriageway between Eglinton and the Limavady Bypass would be approximately 14kilometres long, and the costs of such a scheme would be influenced by many factors including topography, ground conditions, the number of bridges/culverts/retaining walls and the dual carriageway standard,” he stated.

“Experience of recent schemes suggests the cost of providing a dual carriageway in Northern Ireland can range from £6 million to over £11 million per kilometre.

“On that basis, the indicative cost for a 14km dual carriageway between Eglinton and Limavady would be in the region of £80 million to £160 million, however, a considerable amount of additional work would need to be undertaken before a scheme estimate could be developed,” the Roads Minister stated.

Back in 2010 the Sentinel reported how the Ballykelly bypass has been long-fingered until 2017/18.

Traders in Ballykelly previously voiced opposition to the proposed bypass around the town, amid a warning that it will kill it “stone dead.”

Many local business proprietors fear that the loss of passing trade will be a crippling blow.

Former Roads Minister Conor Murphy, announcing the scheme however, said: “This project will provide significant benefits in terms of improving safety and journey time reliability on the A2 between Derry and Coleraine, and provide a significant environmental improvement to the village of Ballykelly.”