Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has announced the start of a £230,000 road safety improvement scheme on the A1 dual carriageway at Hillsborough.
The scheme will involve the erection of a central safety barrier between Hillsborough Roundabout and the junction at Dromore Road, Hillsborough.
To facilitate installation of the barrier, it will be necessary to permanently close all crossing points along this stretch of the A1, including the right turn into Moira Road.
“This significant investment of £230,000 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 40,000 drivers who use the road each day,” Mr Hazzard said.
“This is the first 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.”
Work on the road improvements along the A1 at Hillsborough is due to commence on February 6 and is expected to be completed within six weeks.
The temporary traffic management system required to carry out the works safely will consist of a 50mph speed restriction and lane closures adjacent to the central median on both the northbound and southbound carriageways. To minimise disruption to motorists, the lane closures are scheduled for overnight, between 8pm and 6am.
TransportNI has 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.
Welcoming the confirmation that road safety work on the busy route is due to get under way next month, DUP MLA Brenda Hale said: “It is envisaged that the full A1 Junction Phase 2 Road Improvement Scheme will involve closing up all openings in the central median between Hillsborough and Loughrickland, installing a continuous central safety barrier and the provision of four flyover-type junctions along the A1 Corridor.
“There have been public information events held over the last couple of years and people have had an opportunity to raise issues of concern, such as the proposed closure of some minor road junctions with the A1. After consultation and a review, significantly fewer minor roads are now proposed for closure, with all other minor road junctions modified to operate on a left in/left out basis.
“I am aware TransportNI have been holding a series of meetings with those land owners who may be directly effected and I believe that it is important that there is maximum consultation undertaken, so that the full A1 Junction Phase 2 Road Improvement Scheme has as much public support as reasonably possible.”