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Replacement of Hightown Bridge

7 January, 2008

Sinn Féin Roads Minister Conor Murphy today announced a package of measures to be implemented during the replacement of the Hightown Road Bridge over the M2 at Glengormley.

Work on the fifty year old Hightown Bridge, which has been assessed as being under strength and in need of replacement, is expected to start on 21 January. The works are expected to take up to a year.

The bridge will be closed from 21 January in preparation for complete demolition early in February. Traffic that normally uses the Hightown Road will be diverted via Mallusk Road, Scullions Road, Sandyknowes Roundabout and Antrim Road. A pedestrian access route along the Hightown Road will be provided during the works until the new bridge is complete.

In response to requests for a temporary bridge during reconstruction the Minister said:

"A detailed assessment has shown that it would not be possible to provide a temporary bridge without the loss of residential property. While I cannot therefore agree to provision of a temporary bridge during the closure, a package of measures will be provided to alleviate disruption to the residents and businesses in the area."

The package of measures to accommodate the travelling public during the closure of Hightown Bridge will include:

  • Maintaining pedestrian access across the bridge during reconstruction;
  • Provision of a signed diversion route using Antrim Road, Sandyknowes Roundabout, Scullions Road and Mallusk Road;
  • Provision of a base for Ambulance Service vehicles at Sandyknowes;
  • Provision of traffic signals at the Scullions Road/ Sandyknowes Junction;
  • Provision of a traffic monitoring camera on Scullions Road;
  • Provision of additional buses for the Hightown and Mayfield areas;
  • Provision of an emergency breakdown vehicle recovery service for Sandyknowes Roundabout and Scullions Road;
  • Ongoing management of the timings of traffic signals on the diversion route to minimise congestion and delays; and
  • Ongoing liaison with Police, Ambulance and Fire Service regarding access arrangements to the Hightown and Mayfield Areas.

In addition to these measures, Roads Service officials will continue to discuss any additional suggestions made by local people that will assist in the reduction of traffic congestion during the period of the bridge closure.

Roads Service apologises to the public for any inconvenience while this essential work progresses.

Notes to Editors:

  1. Following cross party representation in November 2007 about arrangements during the demolition and replacement of the Hightown Road Bridge, Roads Service reviewed the proposed arrangements.
  2. The Minister reported back to the cross party delegation at a meeting on 3 January 2008 confirming that it was necessary to close the bridge, but that a package of measures would be implemented to minimise the impact on traffic.
  3. The work to replace this bridge is included in the Design Build Finance and Operate Contract to widen the M2 at this location.

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