A3 dualling Portadown to Richhill


Construction scheme (proposed)
Upgrade half of the Portadown to Armagh road to dual-carriageway standard.
Total Length
6.5km / 4.1 miles

First proposed - July 2006

Scheme given go-ahead - April 2008

Construction due by 2018

£30m (in 2006 consultation document)
See below
See Also

General area map

The A3 is the principal route from Lisburn to Monaghan, but one of the most trafficked portions is the 14km stretch from Portadown to Armagh. This is the main route in and out of Armagh from the Belfast direction. In 2006, the Armagh Road in Portadown carried 17,136 vehicles per day, close to the 18,000 threshold where a dual-carriageway is considered necessary. The route consists of a fairly flat and fast stretch from Portadown to the Stonebridge roundabout at Richhill and then a much twistier section from there to Armagh. The route features an overtaking lane at the Armagh end but tends to get congested at other points.

The proposal is to dual the stretch from Portadown as far as Richhill. The stretch from the roundabout at Armagh Road, Portadown to the Stonebridge roundabout is 5.5km, so the scheme will either include the dualling of 1km beyond Stonebridge, or else part of the road system within Portadown. The road will be constructed as a "standard" dual-carriageway with central reserve crossing points (as opposed to "high quality" which features grade separated junctions).

This scheme was first proposed in the document "Expanding the Strategic Road Improvement Programme" released for consultation in July 2006 and approved by the document "Investment Delivery Plan for Roads" released in April 2008. This scheme was one of two which attracted the media's attention in July 2006 (along with the A1-M1 flyover at Sprucefield) as it was seen as a somewhat unexplained choice given the number of routes that would benefit from such an upgrade.


10 Dec 2008: Roads Service released a leaflet in November 2008 outlining the scheme. It does not give any new information except to say that "work to develop this proposal is about to commence". The first stage will be to develop preliminary options.


The existing format of the A3 between Portadown and Richhill, here seen looking
west near Drumnasoo in August 2007. [Wesley Johnston]

The Stonebridge roundabout on the A3 near Richhill. The dualling scheme will terminate here (or close to here). This image was taken from the Geograph project collection. See this photograph's page on the Geograph website for the photographer's contact details. The copyright on this image is owned by Phyllis Flannagan and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.