A5 dualling, Ballygawley to Omagh

 

Status

Construction scheme (future)

Contractor: Graham, Farrans, Scott Wilson, Halcrow

Where
To upgrade the A5 by building a new high quality dual-carriageway from the A4 at Ballygawley to just south of Omagh
Total Length
21.3 km / 13.3 miles
plus an additional 1.5 km / 0.9 mile extension to the A4 at Ballygawley
Dates

For background to scheme see the 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 financial contribution
14 Feb 2012 - This section broken off as a separate scheme
Early 2012 - Outcome of Public Inquiry to be published

Sep/Oct 2012 - Work due to begin (as of Feb 2012) subject to Public Inquiry
Work likely to take 2-3 years

Cost
£160m (as of Feb 2012)
Photos
None as yet - Please contact me if you have any to contribute.
See Also

General area map - Google Maps

Whole A5 scheme - on this site
Official 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 trip!

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 end, the 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.
A5 at Doogary, Omagh
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 end, the 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.
A5 at Ballygawley
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.

NORTH

Begins as A5 Doogary Road, Omagh

Junction 13:

Omagh (south)

B83 Seskinore Road 

A5 Doogary Road

into Omagh

 

B?? (Current A5)

 
6.7 km / 4.2 miles

Junction 14:

Seskinore

 

B46 Moylagh Road

into Seskinore

Augherpoint Road

B46 Moylagh Road
 
14.6 km / 9.1 miles

Junction 15:

Ballygawley

A4 Annaghilla Road

towards Enniskillen


New link road

into Ballygawley

A4 dual-carriageway

towards Belfast, (and
link to existing A5?)

  SOUTH
Terminates 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".

Updates

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 border.