The A8: The Latest Dual Carriageway Opens between the Cities of Belfast and Other Key Points

This past year has brought many achievements and accomplishments when it comes to the roads, motorways, and byways of the United Kingdom, be it the construction of new roads or bridges, the refurbishment and rebuilding of tunnels and motorways, or even the repair of minor obstructions such as potholes, but there is one particular project which has received a lot of attention, especially in recent times: the A8 dual carriageway, which was only just opened in the latter part of December 2015 by no less than the Transport Minister herself, Michelle Mcllveen.

£133 million spent to connect Belfast and the port city of Larne

£133 million spent to connect Belfast and the port city of Larne

The A8 was, in fact, officially launched and opened last December, culminating the proceeds of a budget of £133 million in order to connect busy Belfast and the port city of Larne.


The importance of the A8 project and its opening

Much excitement has been shown with the opening of the A8, as this dual carriageway plays an important role indeed. The Transport Minister has already mentioned that this A8 project will contribute greatly to Northern Ireland’s economic growth and development, and it will further boost the economy in the local communities surrounding it as well – particularly when it comes to the growth and enhancement of port cities like Larne.

The Transport Minister has further stated that in a mere 34 months, the approximately 17,000 drivers who traverse the carriageway every single day can now take advantage of a decreased travel time of as much as 25 percent. Considering the vast traffic from commercial-related vehicles coming from Larne’s port, this is a great benefit indeed.

The significance of the A8 project is further seen by the fact that it forms part of the key corridor of transport on the Eastern Seaboard which links Northern Ireland, Scotland, and the Irish Republic.


The A8’s key players

The A8 project was, in fact, one of the greatest and biggest investments in regards to Northern Ireland’s road infrastructure. The project’s organisers, including the Irish Republic, have gone all out in making sure that it comes to fruition – and just in time, at that. Funding for the A8 project came from the Northern Ireland Executive, with additional support from the EC (European Commission) and the aforementioned Irish Republic Government.

The scheme or project’s construction was also actually a joint venture between Costain, Ferrovial, and Lagan. The project generated more than two million hours of work and was also able to provide jobs for several individuals who were on the register for unemployment. It also provided a good number of jobs to both apprentices and students alike. 

The Transport Minister has been all praise for the project’s supporters and organisers, but especially those from the local communities which have done their part as well. Ms. Mcllveen mentions the families in the surrounding areas who have shown great patience whilst the project was being undertaken, and those locally-based landowners and businesses which have shown the utmost co-operation and understanding as well.

For sure, this dual carriageway will prove its merit in more ways than one in the coming years – not only to the local residents and communities, but also to other road travelers who will appreciate the faster travel time, the better infrastructure, and the high quality of the work that was done.



Image attributed to khunaspix/ 

Posted on 08 Feb 2016 in News

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