Sod-cutting to signal start of A2 road upgrade

Work is under way on the A2 Shore Road dualling project between Jordanstown and Greenisland. INCT 11-413-RM
Work is under way on the A2 Shore Road dualling project between Jordanstown and Greenisland. INCT 11-413-RM

Work on the A2 Shore Road upgrade will move onto a formal footing today (Thursday) with a sod-cutting ceremony at the location.

Department of Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy will be joined by local dignitaries to mark the official commencement of the long-awaited scheme.

Preparatory elements of the £60m project, which will take two years to complete, are already under way with tree clearing having taken place along the route in recent days.

Roads Service will be widening the 2.2 mile stretch of the A2 between Jordanstown Road and Trooperslane Road. When completed it will provide drivers with two lanes of carriageway in each direction.

Work on the project will involve the construction of a completely new section of carriageway between Station Road, Greenisland and Seapark. It will also include construction of four new roundabouts at Shore Avenue (UUJ entrance), Shorelands, Station Road and Seapark.

The project is expected to be completed by summer 2015.

The 35,000 daily users of the Shore Road - a key arterial route - are being alerted to the traffic management arrangements that will be in place during the contract.

Commuters who use the road to travel to and from Belfast at peak times are being warned of the potential for serious traffic disruption over the coming months, and people are being advised to take the bus or train whenever possible.

Roads Service has confirmed that one traffic lane will remain open in each direction through the works area Monday to Friday, 6.00am to 8.00pm; Saturday 8.00am to 7.00pm and Sunday 10.00am to 7.00pm. These lanes, however, will be narrower and there will be a reduced speed limit in place.

Any road closures which may be required to complete certain elements of the work will be outside of these hours, Roads Service has assured.

Meanwhile, a number of new ways for people to access information on traffic flow have been announced including Twitter and SMS text messaging. These will enable details on any abnormal traffic conditions to be sent directly to mobile telephones, tablet computers and other portable devices.

Minister Kennedy, who sent the first trafficwatch tweet, said: “We give a high priority to the provision of reliable, credible and timely traffic information as this enables road users to make informed decisions about their journey.

“The social media enhancements Roads Service has added to the trafficwatch website will increase the availability of information to the public and is part of a Programme for Government commitment to improve online access to information.

“I would encourage people to register for this service and remind those receiving the information to comply with the law regarding the use of hand held devices when driving.”

To register to receive traffic information text messages log on to http://www.trafficwatchni.com. Follow @trafficwatchni on Twitter - https://twitter.com/TrafficwatchNI