Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has officially opened the £35 million A31 Magherafelt bypass in Northern Ireland.
The new 6km bypass will improve links for the movement of people, goods and services in the Mid Ulster area to and from the M2, Belfast and north-east.
Hazzard said: “The A31 is a strategically important and busy route. The investment and delivery of the £35m bypass will improve local connections to the Key Transport Corridor network and significantly ease congestion in Magherafelt by up to around 50,000 vehicles every week.
“In addition to reducing congestion, the bypass will help improve road safety and reduce journey times.”
The new bypass was built on a largely green field site to the east of Magherafelt between the A31 Moneymore Road at Coolshinny Road junction to the south of Magherafelt and the A6 Castledawson roundabout to the north. It incorporates three new roundabouts at Moneymore Road, Ballyronan Road and Aughrim Road which provide access to the new road as well as a number of under bridges at Killyfaddy Road, Loves Road and Killyneese Road.
The Minister continued: “Delivering extensive improvements to the roads infrastructure such as this involves the cooperation and understanding of the local community. I acknowledge the impact that this scheme has had on residents, landowners and businesses. However, I am confident that everyone involved will see and immediately begin to benefit from this significant investment.
“My congratulations go to the construction companies BAM and McCann on the joint delivery of the scheme ahead of schedule.”
Since the scheme began in June 2015, over 500,000 cubic metres of earthworks material has been excavated including over 25,000 cubic metres of rock. 46,000 tonnes of bituminous material was laid which directly benefited local suppliers of construction material.