A £15 million pound ‘recovery fund’ has been set aside to repair roads which have been left damaged by a harsh winter and scorching hot summer.
The information was relayed to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council this week when representatives of the Department for Infrastructure Roads attended to give an update on current – and future – schemes.
As part of the 2018/2019 works, a “significant programme of resurfacing schemes” across the borough is planned.
These will include the Monaghan Road and Portadown Road in Armagh, the Marlacoo Road, Hamiltonsbawn and Bachelors Walk, Portadown.
Divisional Roads Manager Simon Richardson said: “Over the remaining months of the current financial year, the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon area will see the completion of a number of infrastructure projects including a road improvement scheme at Legacorry Road, Richhill; footway provision at the A3 Belfast Road, Lurgan close to the junction with the Dromore Road; and pedestrian measures at Drumgor Road and Moyraverty Road, Craigavon.”
He said work has already been completed on a number of projects this year including resurfacing schemes at Main Street, Waringstown, Kinelowen Street, Keady and Kiln Road and Lough Road, Lurgan.
“Work on a junction improvement scheme at A28 Gosford Road/Tandragee Road is also complete,” added Mr Richardson.
“A scheme to provide 75 parking spaces at a new park and ride facility at Rathfriland Road, Banbridge is nearing completion.
“These projects will realise significant benefits for both the local community and commuters in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon.”
Turning to roads maintenance – an issue often raised by councillors – Mr Richardson referred to the effects the elements had had on local surfaces.
“It is clear that the severe winter and the very hot summer has had a significant detrimental impact on the road network and the department will continue to identify those roads most in need of repair and prioritise this work alongside other ongoing priorities,” he said.
“The total 2018/2019 roads structural maintenance capital budget is £75million, and of that, £15million has been set aside for a roads recovery fund.
“This is being used to address areas of immediate need across the road network, including locations with significant numbers of potholes caused by the cold winter and roads damaged by the prolonged hot weather in June and July.
“The ongoing maintenance programme has included an enhanced grass cutting service to ensure all roadside verges and sightlines are cut at least twice in the period April‑October, and a full weed spraying service has also been ongoing during this period.”