This project was undertaken on behalf of Transport NI of the Department for Regional Development (DRD). The works involved designing and converting 14.5 km of the A-road into dial carriageway between Coleman’s Corner Roundabout and the B100 Ballyrickard Road.
The A8 is a strategically important route forming part of the Eastern Seaboard Key Transport Corridor and is classified as one of the key Euro routes carrying up to 17,000 vehicles a day. The route had a history of serious road traffic collisions including a higher than average proportion of fatalities. The road also suffered from significant platooning created by high volume of HGV traffic to and from the Port which lead to increased journey times.
The project was a significant highway infrastructure scheme for Northern Ireland (NI) that required considerable innovative technical engineering and environmental solutions, establishing new exemplar approaches in watercourse management and archaeology which have set new standards for schemes in Northern Ireland.
The works delivered innovative solutions including use of a full width pavement spreader, archaeology trial trenching and BGC gas pipeline diversions. It was also the first NI road project to use Northern Ireland Roads Service Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) scheme. Environmental mitigation was a major feature of the A8 as the area is ecologically active particularly along key river corridors with sensitive watercourses in the area including salmon rivers. Methods used to preserve water quality included: silt fencing, flocculants and geotextile.
High environmental awareness and liaison with public delivered a successful project on time and within budget.