M2 and M5 closing for transportation of massive turbine

Motorway and other road closures in Belfast and east Antrim are being made this weekend to facilitate the transportation of a huge gas turbine.

The movement of the slow moving ‘abnormal load’ - measuring 6.45 m x 80.2 m and weighing 529 tonnes - will take place from Belfast Harbour West to Kilroot Power Station in Carrickfergus.

It is understood that this is the longest / heaviest load to ever use the Northern Ireland road network.

As a result, the M2 citybound and M5 citybound will be closed on Saturday (July 30) from 11pm into the early hours of Sunday (July 31).

The transportation will be made from late on Saturday, July 30 into the early hours of Sunday, July 31.

The movement will be under a full police escort.

The load will access the M2 directly on the Fortwilliam roundabout citybound off-slip to travel northwards to the M2 and M5 to Kilroot on Belfast-bound lanes.

What route is it taking?

The full route of the turbine movement is:

Motorists have been urged to comply with directions given by police.

Belfast Harbour West - Dargan Rd - M2 on Jct 1 Fortwilliam - M2 - M5 - A2 - Carrickfergus - A2 - Kilroot (the load will move back onto the Carrickfergus / Kilroot bound lanes on the A2 Shore Road around Whiteabbey).

How will traffic be affected?

The M2 citybound will be closed at Junction 2 Greencastle with traffic leaving the motorway to join the A2 Shore Road to head towards Belfast. The A2 Shore Road on-slip to the M2 citybound at Greencastle will also be closed.

There will be no access to the M5 citybound at the Rushpark roundabout. Police will make operational decisions and redirect traffic as required as the load moves leaves the M5 at Rushpark and through the Whiteabbey area.

Police say that given the time of day with low traffic volumes, any disruption to traffic should be minimal.

Road-users are asked to please comply with any instructions given by police and escort officers and to lease ensure routes are kept clear in order to allow this load to move unhindered as it passes along A2 Shore Road.

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It is anticipated that this will be the last abnormal load of this series of movements.