A5 dualling, Newbuildings (Londonderry) to North of Strabane

 

Status

Construction scheme (future)

Contractor: BAM, Balfour Beatty, FP McCann, ARUP, Atkins

Where
To upgrade the A5 by building a new high quality dual-carriageway from Newbuildings (south of Derry) to just north of Strabane.
Total Length
14.3 km / 8.9 miles
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
31 July 2012 - Scheme passes public inquiry and is approved

Sep 2012 - Work due to begin but halted due to legal challenge

Autumn 2016 - New public inquiry (for entire A5 scheme)
2017 - Construction due to begin on this stretch (as of Nov 2015)
2019 - Completion due (as of Nov 2015)

Cost
150m (as of Oct 2016)
(changed from 170m 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

Click here to jump straight down to updates for this scheme.

This page is specifically to follow the construction of the A5 from Londonderry (Newbuildings) to Strabane. A separate page is dedicated to following the entire A5 scheme through the planning and funding process.

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 2/3 of what was originally "Section 1", ie the section from Newbuildings to the south side of Strabane. It will follow the same design as "Section 1", except that it will omit the 7.3km Strabane Bypass stretch, ie it will stop north of Strabane.

Most of 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". The northernmost 1.3km will be built to single-carriageway standard with one lane each way. There will be no intermediate junctions on the dual-carriageway stretch. The strip map below shows the design of the road.

Junction Strip Map

Dotted lines show the planned future extension southwards.

NORTH

Begins as A5 Victoria Road, Newbuildings

(approx 2 miles / 4 km south of Londonderry)

Junction 1:

Newbuildings North

 

B?? Victoria Road
(current A5)


1 lane each way 1.3 km / 0.8 miles

Junction 2:

Newbuildings South

.

Link road to B??

(current A5)

 
13.0 km / 8.1 miles

Junction 3:

Ballymagorry
(Strabane north)

Local access

B?? (current A5)

B49 Berryhill Road


Victoria Rd (current A5)

into Strabane

  SOUTH
Terminates on existing A5 north of Strabane

The route itself follows the existing A5, but crosses from west to east several times. You can see the design as proposed by going to this page, and clicking on the + sign beside "Brochures" at the bottom. Please let me know if this link is broken.

This is not the first time an upgrade on this route has been proposed. A plan to upgrade the existing A5 here to 2+1 standard was briefly proposed between July 2006 and July 2007. See here.

Updates

11 Apr 2016: This page exists specifically to follow the construction of the A5 from Londonderry (Newbuildings) to Strabane. A separate and much fuller page is dedicated to following the entire A5 scheme through the planning and funding process. Subject to the public inquiry that is due to take place this autumn, work on this stretch of the A5 is due to get underway during 2017, ie within the next two years. The DRD have now revealed their updated plan for the stretch (go to this page, and clicking on the + sign beside "Brochures" at the bottom and click the Brochure for Section 1). It shows a number of minor changes over the 2012 design, but a slightly more significant change to the design of Junction 3, the one north of Strabane. It's simpler to just show you (below), but you can see a third new roundabout has been added, plus other realignments. North is to the left, Stabane is to the right.



Secondly, Junction 3 is also going to be the temporary terminus of this stretch, with the extension past Strabane following later. I have been wondering exactly how the junction will look during the period when it is a temporary terminus, and TransportNI have now ended the suspense and revealed how it will look:

DRD map showing how A5 junction 3 (Strabane North) will look upon completion of the Newbuildings to North of Strabane stretch, but before construction of the next stretch south past Strabane. [DRD]

So they are basically going to build the two north-facing sliproads, the bridge and even a section of the future A5, but divert all traffic up the sliproads for the few years until the rest of the A5 is built. This is the most cost-efficient way to do it, as it minimises future junction restructuring, but is also uncomfortably reminiscent of this junction on the M2 Ballymena Bypass which was a "temporary" terminus from 1969 until 2010. Let's hope the same thing doesn't happen to this junction in Strabane! On the other hand, what would we road enthusiasts talk about if it were not for oddities such as temporary terminii?? So hurrah for a new temporary terminus!

18 Nov 2015: To clarify, this page exists specifically to follow the construction of the A5 from Londonderry (Newbuildings) to Strabane. A separate and much fuller page is dedicated to following the entire A5 scheme through the planning and funding process. It has been over three years since the last update, because a legal challenge meant that commencement did not take place as anticipated in September 2012. We are now part way through a new planning process, and the public inquiry will probably take place early in 2016. The same contractor, however, remains in place and can start very quickly following the (hopefully successful) outcome of the public inquiry. The reason for this update is to note that funding now appears to be in place in the form of 75m from the Irish government, and a very strong commitment from the Executive to provide the additional estimated 95m to get this stretch underway. So I'm now as certain as it's possible to be in the world of politics that construction on this stretch will get underway sometime in 2017.

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. There is still no information about how the south (Strabane) end of this scheme will end, ie what we call "Junction 3" in the strip map above. This will hopefully be revealed in due course, as a decision must have either been taken already, or will have to be taken soon.

15 Feb 2012: This scheme came into existence yesterday, 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 170m is an estimate, and may change as the scheme proceeds.