Finaghy Road North re-opened to all traffic
Sinn Féin Roads Minister Conor Murphy has announced the full re-opening of a Belfast road this weekend which was closed in late June to allow for the strengthening of a railway bridge.
Finaghy Road North in south Belfast will fully re-open to two-way traffic at 8am on Saturday 25 October 2008. An improved footway over the railway bridge will also be available to pedestrians from this date.
The Minister said:
"The re-opening of this road should alleviate some of the current difficulties for pedestrians and motorists in the Finaghy area. I would like to thank local residents and businesses for their patience throughout this work to improve safety provision at this bridge."
Work to complete the scheme will continue into November although this should have a minimal effect on local traffic movements.
Roads Service had hoped to open the bridge in September, however due to the complex and restricted nature of the work and the unseasonally bad weather, it took longer than expected. Work requiring the road closure was completed in just over four months.
Updated information will be available on the 'Roadworks' link of the Roads Service website at www.roadsni.gov.uk or can be obtained by speaking to a member of the project team on 028 9025 3169.
Notes to Editors
- The work is being carried out jointly by Roads Service and Northern Ireland Railways. It was prompted after a study of the risks of vehicle incursions onto the railway track following an accident in Selby, Yorkshire in 2001 in which ten people lost their lives.
- After this crash, the Department of Transport recommended that each road over rail site on the entire rail network be assessed for risk to reduce the chances of a road vehicle reaching a railway track. Of the 124 sites in the north that have been assessed, 18 were identified for treatment and Finaghy Road North was considered to be the highest risk.
- The £4million programme for post Selby road/rail safety measures commenced in 2005 and 14 of the 18 sites have already been completed. The remaining sites will be completed by 2009.
- Finaghy Road North was closed to vehicular traffic on 23 June 2008. The road was partially re-opened on Thursday 16 October 2008, for southbound traffic only (towards Finaghy crossroads). This enabled traffic to use the bridge in one direction whilst permitting the Contractor to complete the remaining work safely.
- The road was originally expected to be reopened to one way traffic by the middle of September. However, problems with unexpected ground conditions, live services and unseasonably bad weather hampered the completion of this work.
- The temporary footbridge and pedestrian access to the railway halt will remain operational until new steps connecting the halt to the bridge have been completed.