A £25m six-mile stretch of dual carriageway on the A1 in Co Down was opened yesterday. The stretch, which runs from Loughbrickland to Beech Hill, is the latest section renovated in the effort to upgrade the road. The Roads Service is working on plans to upgrade the stretch from Beech Hill to the border. Work has started on the £33m scheme to provide a dual carriageway with grade-separated junctions from Cloghogue to the border as part of the cross-border Newry to Dundalk Link Road project.
The scheme was launched by Michael Carr, Mayor of Newry and Mourne Council, and Patrick McAleenan, chairman of Banbridge Council. Mr McAleenan attended the launch alongside Gerry McGinn, Permanent Secretary of the Department for Regional Development, Mr Carr and Malcolm McKibbin, chief executive of Roads Service (pictured from left to right). Mr McGinn said: "The completion of this significant length of new road, from Loughbrickland to Beech Hill, marks a further step in my Department's commitment to provide a dual carriageway from the M1 at Sprucefield to the border.
"The completion of land acquisition procedures for the £109m scheme to complete the remaining section of the route between Beech Hill and Cloghogue to high standard dual carriageway with grade-separated junctions is anticipated before the end of 2006. Work is expected to begin on the ground in spring 2007."