£220k to protect A2 Coast Road from rock falls and landslips

Emergency repairs to secure falling rocks and landslips  at the A2 Coast Road have cost the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) £220,000 this year.

A report to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council by DfI Roads Northern Division indicated that this work included stabilising a slope near The Cloney area in Glenarm which resulted in the temporary closure of the road.

The Department also completed “preventative” maintenance inspections and reports during the summer at the seaward side of the Coast Road at various locations.

During the last financial year, repairs to Coast Road sea defences were completed at a cost of £165,000.

Harbour Highway, Larne.

Commenting on this year’s projects overall, Divisional Road Manager David Porter said: “This has been an unprecedented year due the impact of Covid-19 pandemic and there was some disruption to our resurfacing programmes.

“However, all our contractors have returned to sites and work is progressing well.”

Completed traffic schemes in the borough include a scheme to provide a 20mph speed limit on the A2 Belfast Road outside Model Primary School in Carrickfergus.

After receiving complaints of “near misses” from users of the existing pelican crossing outside the school, the amenity has been upgraded to a puffin crossing which “can hold the red light for longer if needed” if a pedestrian is “crossing slowly”.

The PSNI can enforce the speed reduction is there is non-compliance by motorists.

A puffin crossing has also been installed at St Bride’s Street in Carrick near the junction with Victoria Street after the existing zebra crossing was upgraded with “the latest technology in traffic signals”.

Plans are being developed to provide a dedicated left turn lane from Prince Andrew Way onto North Road, in Carrick. It is hoped that this will reduce queuing times and congestion in the area.

In Larne, plans are in place to upgrade the existing zebra crossing at Circular Road outside the bus station.

This will include improved street lighting and “Belisha beacons”.

The Department has indicated that there are 22,762 street lights in Mid and East Antrim.

Street lighting schemes completed during 2019/20 include main thoroughfares at Lower and Upper Station Road, Greenisland, Trooperslane and Belfast Road and Marshallstown Carrickfergus, Harbour Highway and Harbour, Millbrook and Antiville roundabouts in Larne.

Upgraded street lighting during the next financial year is planned for Sallagh Park, Kent Avenue, Laharna Avenue and Gloucester Avenue in Larne and Alexander Road in Carrickfergus.

Structures that have been repaired include Barnhalt Bridge and embankment , in Carrick, at a cost of £85,826 after damage was caused during a fire.

The report revealed that roads in Mid and East Antrim were salted on 89 occasions last winter using 5,880 tonnes of salt.

A total of 599 kilometres of road are gritted from depots  at Kilwaughter, Larne, Ballymena and Ballykeel. Nine gritters are available and 34 staff on rota.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter.

Click here to read: Section of Coast Road blocked after landslide

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