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Work on two phases of A5 ‘to take place at same time’

WORK on two phases of the proposed new A5 dual-carriageway linking Aughnacloy to Derry could proceed at the same time if the scheme finally gets the go-ahead to commence next year.

Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon made the comment in a written answer to Sinn Féin’s Foyle MLA, Martina Anderson.
Ms Mallon also believes that the overall completion date for the £1billion project of 2028 remains achievable.

“This would require the construction of more than one phase simultaneously over this time period,” she said.

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“However, the commencement of construction and progression of each phase is clearly dependent on the successful completion of the statutory processes and assessment and the funding made available to my department over this period.”

The scheme is divided into three different phases.

The first is from Strabane to Newbuildings, the second to just south of Omagh and the third from Omagh to Aughnacloy.

Welcoming the development, Martina Anderson, the Sinn Féin spokesperson for tackling regional inequalities, said completion of the project could deliver a ‘massive stimulus’ to the economy as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

“The minister also confirms that subject to a favourable outcome from the inquiry and the successful completion of all statutory procedures and environmental assessments, construction work could finally begin during 2021,” Ms Anderson added.

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