Transport Minister Danny Kennedy has visited the A8 dual carriageway scheme, which is approaching a major milestone in the coming weeks when the new £930,000 Templepatrick Road bridge will open to traffic.
To date the scheme has scooped a number of awards including a gold award as part of the Considerate Constructors Scheme.
Around £69million has been spent on the scheme so far and it is now 21 months into its 34-month programme. Work is expected to be completed by spring 2015.
The Minister said: “Construction of this major scheme has been progressing very well with the contractor having completed half of the works equating to one million working hours so far.
“A significant part of the scheme will be the completion of the 56metre span A57 Templepatrick Road bridge which will have taken 15 months to construct. This will be the first of a family of five junctions (bridges) to be constructed on the A8 dualling scheme and it will link the A57 Templepatrick Road to the southern and northern sections of the A8.”
During his visit, the Minister congratulated staff and contractors after they won a number of awards. There were two gold awards including one from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) for occupational safety and health and a second gold award as part of the Considerate Constructors Scheme as well as the Most Considerate Site runner up in the Considerate Constructors Awards 2014.
The site was also nominated Champion Site in Northern Ireland as part of the Health and Safety Executive NI’s BuildHealth Initiative for best practice in occupational health.
“I want to congratulate everyone who has been involved in the A8 scheme and has worked so hard to ensure the project is delivered on time and with as little disruption as possible. Their efforts have paid off and they should be proud of their achievements in winning so many awards,” Mr Kennedy added.