A £200,000 road safety improvement scheme on the notorious A1 dual carriageway will begin on Monday.
The work will concentrate on carriageway at the Dromore Bypass and close to Hillsborough.
The scheme, designed to improve safety for motorists, involves the erection of three further sections of central reserve safety barrier, totalling 1.3 kilometres.
It is expected to be complete in five weeks.
A Department for Infrastructure spokesperson said: “This will improve road safety along this extremely busy stretch of the A1 and is welcome news for the 40,000 drivers who use the road each day.
“In advance of the main A1 junctions improvement scheme, the Department has already closed up a number of gaps in the central reservation and installed central reserve safety barrier at three locations between Hillsborough and Loughbrickland over the last two years, totalling approximately five kilometres.
“The temporary traffic management required to carry out the works safely will consist of speed restrictions and lane closures adjacent to the central median in both the northbound and southbound carriageways.
“To minimise disruption to motorists, the lane closures are scheduled for overnight, between 8pm and 6am every night including weekends from 4 March until 3 April 2019. The speed restrictions will apply at all times for the safety of road users until works are fully completed.”
Meanwhile, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and draft statutory orders for the A1 Junctions Phase 2 road improvement scheme will be published next month.
The start of the statutory procedures will be followed by a further public consultation which will provide everyone with an opportunity to have their say on the updated scheme proposals.
Details of the 2019 public consultations will also be published in March with all details on the departmental website once available.
Following the public consultation, the Department will attempt to resolve any objections raised. If significant objections are raised to the proposed scheme then it may be necessary to hold a Public Inquiry.
Said a spokesperson: “These are key steps that need to be completed to progress this scheme which aims to deliver further safety improvements over the 25 kilometre stretch of the A1 dual carriageway between Hillsborough and Loughbrickland.”
The main proposals include:
– Closure of all gaps in the central reserve and provision of a continuous central reserve safety barrier between Hillsborough Roundabout and Loughbrickland;
– The construction of a further four new flyover type junctions at: Listullycurran Road; Gowdystown Road; Skeltons Road/Drumneath Road; and Waringsford Road;
– A northbound on-slip to the A1 from Castlewellan Road, Banbridge;
– A new link road from the Milebush Road to the existing Hillsborough Road Junction at Dromore;
– Closure of a number of side roads with improvements to the remainder of side roads which will operate as left-in / left-out only;
– Closure of a number of Private Accesses along the route with the remainder operating as left-in / left-out only;
– Closure of all mainline bus-stops with new bus stops provided at the four new grade separated junctions; and
– Provision of a number of driver information and communication systems at strategic locations along the route to improve safety and efficiency.