Page 17
Contractors World - UK & Ireland Vol 2 No 8
Northern Ireland
A8 Belfast To Larne
The Northern Ireland Minister for Regional Development, Danny Kennedy MLA, has signalled the start of the A8
Belfast to Larne Dualling (a Costain joint venture project) by cutting the first sod of the £102 million scheme.
The Minister said: “These works, which will take 34 months to complete, are of significant importance to the
economic development of Northern Ireland.
Upgrading the A8 to dual carriageway will help grow the local economy and contribute to the wider
economic development in Northern Ireland, both in the short term and in the long term. It will also help with the
development of the Port of Larne, which is the second largest Port in Northern Ireland.
As part of the Trans European
Network, the A8 is a strategically
significant European route, which
provides an important East-West
link, between Northern Ireland
and Scotland, via the Port of
The scheme involves upgrading
14 . 4
km o f the ex i s t i ng A8 ,
be tween Co l eman ’s Co r ne r
Roundabout and Ballyrickard
Ro a d , t o d u a l c a r r i a g eway
standard, and incorporates a new
roundabout at Shane’s Hill Road,
as well as a number of grade-
separated junctions, bridges and
left-in left-out junctions along
the scheme, which will provide
access to the new road and local
access. Typically the road will
be increased in size from the
current two-way single carriage
way of 8.3 m width across a 20 m
roadway to two 7.3 m wide 2 lane
dual carriage across a total width
varying from 40 to 50 m.
The scheme seeks to improve journey times for this stretch of the A8 and will help remove the issues associated
with platooning of traffic, thus reducing driver frustration and improving the safety performance of the route for all
road users.
Construction of the scheme by the joint venture of Lagan, Ferrovial and Costain, started in August this year with
the works expected to be completed in spring 2015.
Mr Kennedy continued: “Site works are currently ongoing which include the erection of temporary fencing,
archaeology digs, culvert installation and other enabling works along the scheme.”
It is estimated that 55,000 tonnes of concrete, 1,300 tonnes of steel reinforcement and 310,000 tonnes of
bituminous material will be used for the scheme which will lead to an increase in demand for local suppliers of
construction material.
Above is cross-section of current highway. Below is typical
cross section of new highway to be constructed