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East Link preferred route to be decided within months

No decision on the preferred route of the Armagh North and West Link Roads will be taken until after the completion of a Masterplan for the Mullinure site, Armagh I can reveal.

Meanwhile, the outcome of a review into the preferred corridor for the East Link will be known within the next couple of months.

A spokesperson for DRD confirmed that consideration of options for a “preferred line and junction strategy” based on the ‘out of town’ corridor was continuing.

But he said: “It would not be appropriate to make a decision on the preferred route at this time, pending development of the Masterplan for the Mullinure Area being progressed by Armagh City and District Council prior to the reorganisation of the local councils.”

Plans to improve the A3 Portadown – Armagh – Monaghan Road originally cited a corridor which would extend  6.9 kilometres around the Western and Northern outskirts of Armagh City, from the A3 Monaghan Road on the south western outskirts of the city to the A3 Portadown Road, north east of the city.

The current estimate for the cost of this scheme is in the range £55 million to £75 million.

The DRD spokesperson has also confirmed that a review of the preferred option for the A 28 East Link was continuing  but is expected to be completed shortly.Edenaveys Junction, Armagh

He told Armagh I: “Following a public information event held in June 2014 for the A28 Armagh East Link, it was considered appropriate to carry out a review of the preferred corridor for the proposal.

“To inform this review, traffic and environmental surveys have been undertaken through the study area.

“The review, which is expected to be completed in the coming months, includes consideration of the preferred corridor emerging further out the Markethill Road at the Edenaveys Industrial Estate area.

“As this work is ongoing no updated costs are currently available.”

The route runs from the A3 Portadown Road to the A28 Markethilll Road, forming a junction with the A51 Hamiltonsbawn Road.

The most recent estimated costs for this road were between £12 million and £20 million.

Both of the schemes, which have been many years in the pipeline, are still subject to various factors.

The spokesperson added: “Delivery of each of these schemes remains subject to clearing the statutory procedures, having satisfactory economic appraisals and the availability of funding in future budget settlements.”

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