Work on two major public realm schemes in Keady and Richhill will get underway on Monday, November 28.
And, prior to that, two public information sessions will be held to inform people of what they can expect.
The works will transform the face of both, and will include new paving, planting and street furniture, among other things.
The schemes – which have been in the pipeline for a number of years now – will represent a huge investment in both Keady and Richhill.
As Armagh I previously revealed, FP McCann – who have extensive experience in successfully completing work of this size and nature – have been appointed as the main contractor.
The scheme for Richhill will provide environmental improvement works to the main thoroughfare which includes Corcreevy Road, Irish Street, New Line and around the War Memorial.
In Keady town centre, it will see environmental improvement works to the main thoroughfares including Bridge Street, Davis Street, Market Street, Kinelowen Street, Armagh Road and the town centre public areas – as well as around the Kirk Monument, library and mill.
While both schemes are major civil engineering projects, the work will be carried out in stages.
The contractor will endeavour to finish as quickly as possible and minimise disruption to residents, businesses and customers.
The message that Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council wishes to get out is that Richhill and Keady will remain open for business as usual.
Some parking bays will be closed to facilitate construction works for short periods.
And, so as not to interfere with the Christmas trade and January sales, works will be restricted to area “away from trading businesses” between December 5 and January 5.
Work on both is due to be completed by summer 2017.
Before the work begins residents and businesses can attend drop-in information sessions to find out more.
The first session will take place on Monday, November 14, from 4pm until 6pm in Richhill Recreation Centre.
It will be followed by a second on Tuesday, November 15 – again from 4pm until 6pm – in the Tommy Makem Arts and Community Centre in Keady.
FP McCann have appointed Jim McCloy as their dedicated Public Liaison Officer for the scheme. He can be contacted by phone on 078 0266 1210, by visiting the site offices at Unit 4, The Old Mill in Keady or 31b Main Street, Richhill (above Cafe Casa); by calling the 24hr site contact number on 028 7954 9090 (option 4), or email your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org (for Keady) / email@example.com (for Richhill).
SDLP Councillor Thomas O’Hanlon has urged Keady residents and business owners to attend the information session.
He said: “We will see new footpaths from the Fire Station at the bottom of the town right through to the site of the old police station at the top of the town. Improvements are also planned for the junction at the Monument and around Market Street.
“A new pedestrian crossing is being placed at the bottom of St Patrick’s Street and the existing crossing at the Post Office is being moved up towards the Monument area. This is a significant investment in the town and is very much welcome.”
He said representatives from the contractor and council would attend the information session.
“This will give residents and businesses the opportunity to discuss the works, when each phase is due to commence and when it will be completed,” said Councillor O’Hanlon.
“As part of the scheme the council will fund a shop front scheme. This will provide grant aid to commercial property owners to improve their shop fronts. Officers will be on hand to speak individually to property owners, they will detail timescales and the grant aid involved.
“This is an important meeting, particularly for those in the business community. It is a drop-in format to try and accommodate businesses owners and so they can speak in a confidential and one-to-one basis with the officers involved.
“This is a very important scheme, communication is key and it is important everyone is aware of the works and how it may impact their area.”
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