Farrans, Scott Wilson, Halcrow
upgrade the A5 by building a new high
quality dual-carriageway from the A4 at
Ballygawley to just south of Omagh
|21.3 km / 13.3 miles
plus an additional 1.5 km / 0.9 mile
extension to the A4 at Ballygawley
For background to scheme
page on the whole A5 project.
17 July 2007 - Executive decides to
proceed with plan
21 July 2009 - Preferred route announced
May, June 2011 - Public Inquiries held
9 Nov 2011 - Irish government postpones
14 Feb 2012 - This section broken off as a
Early 2012 - Outcome of Public Inquiry to
Sep/Oct 2012 - Work due
to begin (as of Feb 2012) subject to
Work likely to take 2-3 years
|£160m (as of
|None as yet - Please
contact me if you have any to contribute.
area map - Google Maps
scheme - on this site
web site on whole A5 scheme
This scheme is part of the ambitious plan to
upgrade the entire 88km A5 to high quality
dual-carriageway standard from Newbuildings (just
south of Derry) to Aughnacloy. See here for
details and history. In February 2012, in a
climate of reduced finance, it was decided to
break the scheme into a number of phases and build
them over a period of years. This scheme
represents about 90% of what was originally
"Section 3", ie the section from south of Omagh to
Aughnacloy. It will follow the same design as
"Section 3", except that it will omit the final
3.5km stretch from Ballygawley to Aughnacloy.
The road will be built to dual-carriageway standard
with two lanes each way, no side accesses and no
hard shoulders. The technical term for this standard
is "Category 6". There will be just one intermediate
junction, serving Seskinore. The strip map below
shows the design of the road.
Interesting fact: The stretch from Seskinore to
Ballygawley will, at 14.6 km, be the longest section
of road without any junctions in Northern Ireland.
If you miss your turn it could mean a 29km round
Termini of this Stretch
Because this is part of a larger plan, the termini
at the north and south will be interesting. The
strip map shows the road as originally designed.
However it may not be built exactly like this.
At the north
road will presumably stop at or near the grade
separated junction that is planned close to the B63
Seskinore Road. This is shown in the map below.
Roads Service may decide to build the full junction,
but divert all traffic up the sliproads. Or they may
decide to build a temporary roundabout.
Alternatively, since the planned dual-carriageway
runs right beside the existing A5 about a mile south
of the planned junction, a third option would be to
build a temporary roundabout there.
Terminating junction of this stretch, south of
Omagh. North to upper left.
[Roads Service, from here / text in white
added by me
At the south
road will join the existing A4 at a new roundabout.
This will require building an additional 1.5km (0.9
mile) stretch of dual-carriageway to connect this
roundabout to the existing A4 dual-carriageway. In
the original scheme, the A5 was to have continued
south from this roundabout to Aughnacloy, as shown
on the map below. This will not now happen.
Therefore, the existing roundabout at the end of the
current A4 dual-carriageway will be retained,
meaning there will be two roundabouts in quick
succession on the A4.
Terminating junction of this stretch, at
Ballygawley. North to top.
[Roads Service, from here / text in white
added by me
Junction Strip Map
Dotted lines indicate planned future extensions.
Begins as A5
Doogary Road, Omagh
B83 Seskinore Road
6.7 km / 4.2 miles
B46 Moylagh Road
14.6 km / 9.1 miles
link to existing A5?)
on existing A4 near Ballygawley
The road itself follows a route somewhat to the west
of the existing A5. You can see the design as
proposed by going to
this page, and clicking on "Brochures".
31 Jul 2012: Today the scheme was approved
by the DRD Minister, having passed the Public
Inquiry. Work is now due to begin "in the Autumn",
probably September or October, so we are probably
within 3 months of commencement. It was confirmed
today that at the south end of the scheme the
existing roundabout connecting the end of the A4
dual-carriageway to the A5 will be retained, and
not removed, as it has been decided to postpone
the final stretch to Aughnacloy indefinitely. This
is not surprising, as it was the cheapest, and
most straightforward, solution to the problem of
how to connect the A5 towards Aughnacloy to the
new road. Thus 1.5km of the A4 will also be
upgraded to dual-carriageway. However, there is
still no information about how the north (Omagh)
end of this scheme will end, ie what we call
"Junction 13" in the strip map above. There was a
lot of debate at the Public Inquiry about the
precise route of the road at this point, but Roads
Service have decided that the route they have
selected is still be best option. This will
hopefully be revealed in due course, as a decision
must have either been taken already, or will have
to be taken soon.
20 Feb 2012: This
scheme came ino existence last Tuesday, following
a major funding announcement.
The Public Inquiry process is not yet concluded,
but the Minister estimates that work could begin
in September or October 2012 if it passes this
hurdle. Construction is likely to take between 2
and 3 years. The total cost of £160m is an
estimate, and may change as the scheme proceeds.
It is somewhat surprising that this part of the A5
is to go ahead, given that this stretch is today
one of the best sections of the A5. The Omagh
Bypass section to the north would be more
justifiable on traffic grounds as it represents a
much more significant delay to motorists. The
thinking may be that starting at either end of the
A5 will ensure there is the political will to
"fill in the gap" in years to come. I would also
say that it is no surprise that the Ballygawley to
Aughnacloy section is not being built now - on
traffic grounds, it is hard to justify,
particularly given the fact that there are no
plans to upgrade the N2 on the Irish side of the