Infrastructure Minister announces funding of up to £4M for York Street Interchange scheme development.
Funding of up to £4M has been announced by Infrastructure Minister, Chris Hazzard, which will be made available to develop the York Street Interchange Scheme ready for construction. The Minister has also confirmed that contract award for the scheme development will be progressed.
TransportNI has developed proposals to provide a grade-separated junction at York Street that would provide direct links between Westlink and the M2 and M3 motorways and greatly improve access between these roads.
The current construction estimate is in the region of £130M.
Minister Hazzard said: “This is an important step in the development of the Interchange which is seeking to address the traffic delays at this heavily congested location. There is no doubt that a scheme of this scale represents a significant investment in our economy. By removing the traffic bottleneck, the new interchange will improve journey time reliability and road safety for motorists, including freight transport, and support the competitiveness of the Port of Belfast with improved links to the strategic road network.
“I am pleased to announce that funding of up to £4M will be allocated to allow the scheme to be developed to a point where construction could begin. The identification of funding for the construction phase will be dependent on future budgets and is unclear at this time.
“The consultation process recommended within the Public Inquiry Report is now commencing with the local community and key stakeholders. The release of funding to allow a contractor to come on board to develop the scheme will improve the quality of this process.”
A public inquiry was held in November 2015 into proposals to separate strategic traffic from the local streets by providing direct vehicular links between the Westlink, the M2 and M3, the construction of underpasses and the construction of a new bridge to carry York Street over the junction.
The Minister announced his decision to proceed with the scheme following the publication of the Inspector’s Report. The inspector made a number of recommendations aroud the consultation neede with the local community and the scheme stakeholders. This process has now begun, and a contractor will be appointed.
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