MID and East Antrim Borough Council members have been updated on road maintenance and improvement works in the area by the Department for Infrastructure during 2019/20 and the schemes being undertaken in 2020/21.
Divisional Roads Manager David Porter said: “Significant resurfacing schemes have been completed including the Townhill Road, Portglenone, Main Street and Hillhead Road, Ballycarry, and Glenview Road, Larne.
“We have also recently started resurfacing schemes on the A26 Crankill Road (northbound), Ballymena; the Carrickfergus Road, Larne; Cable Road, Edward Road & Windsor Avenue in Whitehead and a reconstruction scheme on Larne Street, Ballymena, is nearing completion.
“I am also pleased that we have recently completed the £215,000 shared footpath/cycleway along Grove Road and Doury Road in Ballymena and have commenced work on a £260,000 shared path at Frys Road, Ballymena.
“This has been an unprecedented year due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. In line with advice and to ensure the safety of our staff, the Division has largely been operating ‘from home’.
“This has allowed the essential services we deliver to continue throughout the pandemic. There was some initial disruption to our resurfacing programmes, however, all our contractors have now returned to sites and work is progressing well.
“There are still some very significant Covid-19 implications on the delivery of our works as we must keep staff, contractors and the public safe by operating with social distancing, and while there is still some disruption with our supply chain, please be reassured that we are working hard to manage this situation.”
Continuing, Mr Porter said: “The overall 2020/21 structural maintenance capital budget is £75 million for Northern Ireland and of this, £12 million has been set aside for a roads recovery fund of which £10 million is targeted towards rural roads.
“Divisional allocations have now been confirmed and our capital funding is broadly similar to last year except for the additional funding which is being made available for walking, cycling and safer routes to schools and this will allow the introduction of part time 20mph speed limits at nine schools in the Mid and East Antrim area.
“Resource allocations will allow the Department to maintain the road network in a similar way to last year and the Minister has this year allocated funding to allow a full street lighting repair service for the entire year which is to be welcomed.
“My staff will continue this year to deliver our maintenance programmes and there is also a particular focus on enhancing safety by providing improved measures for pedestrians and cyclists.
“As the year progresses we will continue to bid for additional funding to maintain the integrity of the road network and additional schemes will be implemented if funding becomes available.
“Over the past year, good progress has also been made on the two A6 Flagship projects. It remains the position that the Randalstown to Castledawson scheme is expected to be completed in 2021, and the Dungiven to Drumahoe scheme completed in 2022.”