Magherafelt bypass to open four weeks ahead of schedule

Drone footage of the Magherafelt bypass
Drone footage of the Magherafelt bypass

Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard will officially open the new Magherafelt bypass this morning, four weeks ahead of schedule.

The road, which was planned to alleviate traffic congestion in the town centre, cost £35m to build.

Construction of bridge on Magherafelt bypass

Construction of bridge on Magherafelt bypass

Former Roads Minister Danny Kennedy cut the first sod on the project in March 2015, and tomorrow it will be officially opened to traffic.

It is hoped the new 6km road will reduce traffic congestion by 30 per cent.

Contractors BAM/McCann delivered the joint venture, after winning the contract on February 18, 2015.

The new road has a single carriageway (with sections of two plus one lane carriageway) which cut through a green field site between the A31 Moneymore Road just south of Magherafelt to the A6 Castledawson roundabout.

Map of the bypass

Map of the bypass

Speaking at a sod-cutting event Minister Kennedy highlighted the importance of the scheme: “This extremely worthwhile scheme has been long awaited by all road users in the Magherafelt area.

“Magherafelt town suffers from significant traffic congestion, particularly during peak periods, with parts of the existing road network within the town centre carrying around 25,000 vehicles per day.

“This very significant investment will help improve road safety, reduce congestion and improve journey times.”

Soon open to traffic, it is thought the new road could carry as many as 14,000 vehicles a day.

A new roundabout was at the A31 Moneymore/Coolshinny Road junction just south of Magherafelt town and the new road passes to the east of the town to connect directly with the A6 Castledawson roundabout.

New roundabouts were also provided where the new road bisects the Ballyronan and Aughrim roads, with all other side roads bridged over.