Queens Quay road upgrade, Belfast

 

Status
Construction scheme (future)
Where
Replacement of Station Street Flyover on Queens Quay, Belfast, with a 2-lane single-carriageway road at ground level.
Total Length
0.15km / 0.1 miles
Dates

Tenders invited early 2006

Planning permission granted 22 June 2006 but no work carried out

Removal of flyover again proposed in draft DRD Queen's Quay Master Plan - 13 Dec 2011
Included in finalised DRD Queen's Quay Master Plan - 29 Aug 2013
Works to take place between 2014 and 2016 (as of Aug 2013)

Cost
"over 1m"
Photos
See below.
See Also

General area map

Laganside Corporation
Queen's Quay Master Plan of Dec 2011

This scheme is being taken forward by the Department for Social Development (originally proposed by the Laganside Corporation who had been tasked with redeveloping this area of the city since 1989 and have now been wound up). It will involve the demolition of Station Street Flyover and the subsequent replacement of Queen's Quay / Station Street (ie, the entrance to the Odyssey area) with a 2-lane single-carriageway road at street level.

The map above illustrates the current situation. The flyover was built in 1966 as part of the Middlepath Street / Bridge End one-way system at a time when Queen's Quay was the entrance to the shipyards and tens of thousands of people worked there. This was also before the M3 was built (1995). So at that time the Queen's Bridge was the only way to get to the city centre from the shipyards. To avoid traffic having to go 1km round the one-way system the flyover was built to get traffic onto Queen's Bridge directly.

Today the flyover is unnecessary because most traffic now uses the M3 to cross the Lagan and this is accessed from the Odyssey area by turning left onto Middlepath Street rather than right across the Queen's Bridge. As it is widely regarded as an eyesore (see photos below), the DSD have decided to demolish it and create a 2-lane single-carriageway with traffic lights instead. It is unclear whether traffic still wishing to use the former route of the flyover will be able to cross Middlepath Street at the lights or if they will have to go round the one-way system. Planning permission was granted in 2006.

Updates

29 Aug 2013: The Department for Social Development today published the final masterplan for Queen's Quay (an updated version of the one that was published in draft form in December 2011, see below). As expected, the masterplan acknowledges that the flyover is surplus to requirements and is in the way and again proposes to demolish it and replace it was a surface road. The maps in the document are self-contradictory. For example, page 37 seems to show that this will be a single-carriageway road with two lanes each way as was suggested in the draft masterplan in 2011. However page 40 seems to depict the earlier (2006) plan for a dual-carriageway with three lanes each way. My feeling is that the former is probably correct, and that the latter maps are wrong. For the first time a timetable has been set out, and this suggests that removal of the flyover will take place early in Phase 1 which is now scheduled to take place between 2014 and 2016. Since planning permission for its removal has already been granted and remains live, this could happen without difficulty. So it is possible that the 47-year-old Station Street Flyover may only have a limited time left.

18 Dec 2011: Last week the Department for Social Development unveiled its anticipated master plan for Queen's Quay (see previous update). Not surprisingly, this strategy once again proposes the demolition of Station Street flyover. If you click on the above link and download Part 3 of the document, you can see that the proposal is now to replace it with a street-level single-carriageway road with two lanes each way (the previous proposal in 2006 had been for a dual-carriageway at street-level with three lanes each way). Station Street Flyover was built before the M3, when this was a heavily used route, but as it is rather over-engineered for today's needs its removal is unlikely to cause much of a problem, and would certainly help the regeneration of the area. There is still no firm date to actually proceed.

27 April 2011: It has now been almost five years since planning permission was granted for the demolition of Station Street Flyover and its replacement with a ground-level dual carriageway. However nothing has happened, and planning permission must surely be about to expire. However there may be going to be some new decisions soon - the Department of Social Development has just begun work on a master plan for the redevelopment of Queen's Quay. This process must surely involve a decision on the future of this rather ugly flyover.

Photos

Station Street Flyover seen from the end of Queen Elizabeth Bridge. [Photo by Wesley Johnston]

Looking south along Station Street Flyover from its northern end. Station Street itself is on the left of the flyover with Queen's Quay invisible to its right. The new section of dual-carriageway will run along here. [Photo by Wesley Johnston]