Major construction work on the latest phase of the much anticipated Millennium Way has been inspected by the new Infrastructure Minister.
The £6m project which aims to improve congestion in Lurgan town centre started last week and already has made great progress.
Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard visited Lurgan on Thursday to check progress on the road improvement scheme at Millennium Way.
The investment will include 430 metres of new road from Malcolm Road to Gilford Road in the town.
It will also include an upgrade of the junction between Millennium Way and Malcolm Road to a signalised crossroads and also of the existing roundabout at the junction of the Banbridge Road and Gilford Road.
Minister Hazzard said: “£6million is a significant investment that will benefit the local community in Lurgan.
“This new road will relieve congestion along the A3, helping to reduce journey times and improve journey time reliability along this strategic route.
“It will also reduce traffic flows in the local residential areas.
“It will be vital for local traders to grow the local economy to be able to attract business and put Lurgan on a better footing,” said the newly appointed minister.
“The scheme will also accommodate cyclists and pedestrians and will provide an alternative route for traffic, reducing demands on some of the heavily trafficked links and surrounding junctions within Lurgan town centre.”
Gibson (Banbridge) Ltd will carry out the work, which is expected to last for six months.
“TransportNI staff will be working closely with the contractor to minimise any inconvenience to the public, residents and local businesses in the area,” said a department spokesperson.
The start of this work comes many years after it had been proposed. The late MP Harold McCusker had lobbied for the new road 40 years ago.
There had been concerns that the first phase of Millennium Way would be the final phase as plans to begin the work were put on hold on several occasions.
And stringent austerity issues at the last Stormont Assembly led to the tighening of belts within the previous Department of Regional Development.