Big freeze delays start of work on £250k A1 safety project

The A1 dual carriageway near the Bannview Road Bridge. Pic by Google
The A1 dual carriageway near the Bannview Road Bridge. Pic by Google

Work on a £250,000 road safety improvement scheme on the A1 at Banbridge is due to get under way on Wednesday, March 7, the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) has said.

The project had been scheduled to begin on Sunday, March 4, but was postponed due to the snowy and icy conditions.

The scheme, designed to improve safety for motorists, involves the erection of a central reserve safety barrier between Bannview Road Bridge and Castlewellan Road Bridge on the Banbridge Bypass.

Confirming that the start of the roadworks had been delayed, a DfI spokesperson said: “Due to poor weather conditions the barrier works did not commence on Sunday 4 March. These have been rescheduled to commence on Wednesday 7 March.”

To facilitate installation of the barrier, the department said it is necessary to permanently close all crossing points along the busy stretch of road.

“This significant investment of £250,000 will greatly improve road safety along this extremely busy stretch of the A1. The installation of the central safety barrier is welcome news for the 30,000 drivers who use the road each day,” the spokesperson continued.

“This is the third in a number of incremental improvements which may be progressed in advance of the delivery of the full A1 Junctions Phase 2 scheme. The works, when complete, will deliver benefits for all road users for many years to come.”

Revealing that the work is expected to take three to four weeks to complete, the spokesperson added: “The temporary traffic management required to carry out the works safely will consist of a 40mph speed restriction and lane closures adjacent to the central median in both the northbound and southbound carriageways. To minimise disruption to motorists, the lane closures are scheduled for overnight, between 7:30pm and 6am Monday to Friday and all day at the weekends. The 40mph speed restriction will apply at all times for the safety of road users ‎until works are fully completed.

“DfI Roads has carefully programmed the works operations and traffic management arrangements in order to minimise any inconvenience to the public, however motorists should be aware that some delays may be expected and that additional time should be allowed when planning any journeys.”