Transport Minister Danny Kennedy has highlighted completion of a £1m road improvement scheme at Upper Ballinderry, where the road is now open to traffic.
Major improvements include road realignments, additional turn facilities on A26 Glenavy Road at the junction of Ballinderry and Lower Ballinderry Road and resurfacing along a 550 metre section of the A26 trunk road serving the International Airport.
Mr Kennedy said: “This £1.05million scheme represents a major financial investment and now brings substantial benefits for local residents, businesses and road-users in the area.
“I would like to put on record my thanks to local residents in the Ballinderry area for their co-operation and patience during the construction of this extensive scheme.”
Councillor Thomas Beckett and Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson campaigned for five years to have something done to improve safety at the dangerous crossroads, scene of several vehicle collisions over the years.
The two met with Roads Service after receiving complaints from residents who were experiencing significant difficulties in crossing the main A26 Airport Road, especially at peak traffic times.
Mr Donaldson said he was delighted at the opening of the new junction.
“With the changes to the layout of the junction, such difficulties can now be avoided and both motorists and pedestrians will feel much safer crossing the Airport Road without disrupting traffic flows,” he said. “I am delighted that the works have now been completed at the junction that serves Ballinderry.
“This will help ease traffic at the very busy junction and make it a lot safer for all road-users.
“People travelling to and from Ballinderry will find it easier to get across.
“We would have had many complaints from local residents about this junction, especially parents of children who were travelling from Ballinderry into Lisburn.
“Hopefully, this new junction this will make it much safer for them.”
Gibson Bros (Banbridge), the contractor for the scheme, began work in December last year and completed the improvements last month.
At a separate scheme on Ballinderry Road, resurfacing work was expected to be completed this week.