Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has announced that funding of up to £4 million will be made available to develop the York Street Interchange Scheme to a construction ready state and has confirmed that contract award for the scheme development will be progressed.
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 £4million 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 Inspector’s Report was published on 15 November 2016 and the Minister announced his decision to proceed with the scheme, subject to the availability of funding.
The Inspector made a number of recommendations around the consultation needed with the local community and the scheme stakeholders and this process has now commenced. The appointment of a contractor will assist this process.
Notes to editors:
- The current construction estimate is in the region of £130 milllion.
- The Departmental Statement, Inspector’s Report and associated documents are available for viewing at the York Street Interchange website. A link to the site is attached below.
- All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office on 028 9054 0007 or e-mail: email@example.com. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.
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