A6 Dualling Dungiven to Londonderry

 

Status
Construction scheme (current)
Contractor
Sacyr, Wills Bros and Somague consortium
Scheme
New high-quality dual-carriageway to replace the existing single-carriageway A6 from Dungiven to Drumahoe, including a bypass around the south side of Dungiven (Phase 1) and then from Drumahoe to the A2 at Gransha, and an upgrade of the existing A2 dual-carriageway from Caw to Maydown (Phase 2).
Total Length
30.0 km / 18.8 miles
Dates

Mar 2005 - Pilot study to select route from Castledawson to Derry announced.

Dec 2005 - Funding announced to build section from Dungiven to Derry.

Feb 2007 - Preliminary route corridor selected.

May 2008 - Five route options published.

6 May 2009 - Preferred route announced.

14 Dec 2011 - Draft legal documents published.
Jan 2012 - Public exhibitions.

24 Sep 2012 to 2 Oct 2012 - Public Inquiry held.

ca End Mar 2013 - Inspector submitted Public Inquiry report.

24 Feb 2016 - Departmental Statement published.

21 Feb 2017 - Construction tender released.

15 Aug 2017 - Vesting Order "made".
28 Mar 2018 - Contract awarded for Dungiven to Drumahoe section (phase 1).

(changed from "after 2015" as of Jan 2011, and "early 2013" as of Jul 2010).

26 Sep 2018 - Sod-cutting ceremony
Spring 2022 - Anticipated completion

Cost

£390-420m (as of Nov 2014) for whole scheme

(of which £220m for phase 1, Dungiven to Drumahoe) as of Mar 2018

(Changed from £230-255m for phase 1 as of Nov 2014; £350-390m as of Mar 2011; £320-390m as of Dec 2009; £320m as of Dec 2008 £300m as of Jun 2008 and £250 million as of 2005)

See Also

General area map.
Contractor's web site on scheme

DFI web site on scheme - very detailed information and reports.

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

This major project was first announced on 13 December 2005 by the Northern Ireland Secretary of State Peter Hain as part of a larger investment package for the city of Derry, and work got underway in 2018. It will see a dual-carriageway bypass of Dungiven town and dualling of the existing A6 from there to the A2 on the north-eastern periphery of Derry city. The road will be build to a high quality with two lanes each way, no breaks in the central barrier and fully grade separated junctions (ie flyovers). Plans announced in 2004 for a single-carriageway bypass of Dungiven at a cost of £11.1m were subsumed by this much larger scheme, although the preliminary work done was still useful. The map below shows the section of the A6 affected by this upgrade:

Route

The chosen route closely follows the existing A6, but generally off to one side apart from an onlien section around Burntollet. At the Derry end it heads inland and bypasses Drumahoe well to the north, terminating on the A2 at Caw. At the eastern end it bypasses Dungiven to the south.

Strip Junction Map

This is a strip map of the design that was published in May 2009, and is still correct as of the updated design published in February 2016. Note that the design may change between this map and construction due to the evolution of the design, and the public inquiry.


WEST

Begins on A2 dual-carriageway, Derry

2+2 lanes

STRADREAGH
or GRANSHA

 

A2 Clooney

Road

(into Derry)

 Local access  

 A2 Clooney

 Road

 (to Limavady)


5.3 km / 3.3 miles - 2+2 lanes

LISMACAROL ROUNDABOUT
(DRUMAHOE)

A?? Glenshane

Road

(existing A6)

(into Derry).

 Tirbracken

 Road

 
2.8 km / 1.7 miles - 2+2 lanes

TAMNAHERIN ROAD

(THE CROSS)

 

Local access

Local access

 Tamnaherin

 Road


2.0 km / 1.2 miles - 2+2 lanes

ARDMORE ROAD
(BURNTOLLET)

Westbound access only.

 

 Faughan River

 Ardmore Road

.

 Burntollet

 Bridge

 

.

 
2.5 km / 1.6 miles - 2+2 lanes

KILLALOO

(GULF ROAD)

B74 Glenshane

Road

(Claudy west)

 Gulf Road
 

2.5 km / 1.5 miles - 2+2 lanes

BARANAILT ROAD
(
CLAUDY) 

B69 Baranailt

Road (into

Claudy)

 B69 Baranailt

 Road (towards

 Limavady)

 
13.0 km / 8.1 miles - 2+2 lanes

FEENY ROAD

(DUNGIVEN WEST)

B74 Feeny

Road

 B74 Feeny

 Road (into

 Dungiven)


2.5 km / 1.6 miles - 2+2 lanes

MAGHERABUOY ROUNDABOUT
(DUNGIVEN EAST)

 

 B? Glenshane

 Road

 (existing A6;

 into Dungiven)

 Local access

 

EAST

Terminates as single-carriageway
A6 towards Belfast

1 lane each way

Updates

26 May 2021: A huge amount has happened on the scheme over the past month. This includes structures, with beams lifted on the two largest bridge on the scheme (Liberty Glen, commencing 12 May, and the River Roe, commencing 24 May). Much more of the road itself has also been progressed, to the extent that the large 'tarmac' making plant near Ovil hasn't been needed as much over the past few weeks. On long stretches of the scheme you can see completed blacktop and drainage in place on both carriageways. The photos below focus on the structures and junctions, because they are the things most noticeable to the public, but we must not lose sight of the fact that laying the road base itself is the biggest job of all and that it is progressing very well. This past month traffic has been (or is about to be) diverted over two of the new bridges (Feeny Road bridge, which opened on 30 April, and Magheramore Road, which will open on 31 May). In both cases, traffic was using a temporary road around the site, which will now be removed to allow the dual-carriageway to be completed. A third bridge, Gortilea Road, also opened to traffic, on 21 May. This road had been closed for over a year. In other news, the B74 Glenshane Road (which takes you into Claudy from the Derry side) was closed at the end of April for four months to allow more work to take place on the future Killaloo junction. At this point, only two road bridges still need their beams - Killaloo, and the second half of Burntollet bridge - and one bridge has yet to begin - the footbridge which will eventually cross the Faughan river beneath the finished Burntollet bridge. Before moving into the photos, there are three videos which I must link to:

There are 19 photos below, arranged as always from west (Derry) to east (Dungiven). In truth, you the public are amazing at taking photos of this scheme and there are literally hundreds on Twitter and which I could share. Thank you all. These are just a small sample. With thanks to Aerial Vision NI, Benbradagh, Esther Harper, Alan Lynas, Martin Lynch, Paul McCloskey, Arthur Ming, Les Ross and Sean Wilson.


Pic 1: One of the seven central beams being lifted into place at Liberty Glen on 15 May 2021. This is the longest bridge on the scheme, and requires 21 beams in total, in three spans. [Arthur Ming]


Pic 2: The completed beams in place at Liberty Glen, as seen from underneath on 14 May 2021. That these enormous beams can be supported on the five slender pillars ahead is a testament to how far civil engineering has progressed since the 1960s. [DFI Roads]


Pic 3: The final beam being lifted into place at Liberty Glen on 14 May 2021. Work here will now focus on placing shutters between the beams and then constructing the road deck on top. [DFI Roads]


Pic 4: Aerial view looking west across the future Tamnaherin Road junction on 16 May 2021. All traffic is using a temporary road which can be seen crossing left-right mid shot. Beyond that can be seen the future dual-carriageway. In the foreground is the bridge deck of the Tamnaherin Road flyover, which is actually at ground level. Once completed, a cutting will be excavated beneath it to allow local traffic to cross under the road. Still a lot of earthworks to be done here. [Sean Wilson]


Pic 5: View of new dual-carriageway looking east approaching The Oaks accommodation bridge on 16 May 2021. The road on the left is being used by all A6 traffic, but is actually the Ervey Link Road, a new local road that will remain in place once the dual-carriageway has been completed. [Sean Wilson]


Pic 6: The new Ardmore Bridge (a local road at Burntollet) taking shape on 23 May 2021. Work here is focused on constructing the deck of the bridge. Picture taken from the old stone Ardmore bridge, which will remain in place but no longer used by traffic. [Sean Wilson]


Pic 7: View east along the new road towards Burntollet Bridge on 16 May 2021. All traffic is using the future eastbound carriageway. There is still little evidence of progress on the second half of the new Burntollet Bridge. The 1950s bridge, in fact, has not yet been demolished and appears to be being used to store materials. [Alan Lynas]


Pic 8: Closeup of Burntollet Bridge on 16 May 2021, looking east. All traffic is using the northern half of the new bridge, with the southern half still to be built. The grey pipes are sitting on the older 1950s Burntollet Bridge which has yet to be demolished. Ardmore Road bridge is off frame to the right in this view. [Alan Lynas]


Pic 9: Moving to Claudy, this is the view south along the future route of Baranailt Road, towards the new A6 bridge on 9 May 2021. With the bridge now open, work is well underway to complete Baranailt Road underneath. [Arthur Ming]


Pic 10: Same location as Pic 9, but this is looking north along Baranailt Road, Claudy FROM the new A6 bridge on 16 May 2021. The original A6 ran left-to-right across this view, in what is now mid-air, since excavation works have since taken place. You can see Baranailt Road beyond the barrier, drumming its fingers as it awaits its chance to be connected under this bridge. [Martin Lynch]


Pic 11: Gortilea Road finally reopened, over its new bridge over the A6, on 21 May 2021. This view shows the final surfacing works underway on the approach embankment on the southern (far) side of the new bridge. Gortilea Road is perfectly straight, giving away its origin as a 'direct alignment' road, typical of Irish road engineering in the 18th century. [Esther Harper]


Pic 12: View beneath Killunaught Road bridge, near Foreglen, taken from the new dual-carriageway, on 16 May 2021. Work on bridge deck is well advanced, but in this shot we can see the reinforcement bars being erected for the concrete wingwalls on either side of the bridge abutment. These will be in-filled to allow the road to be constructed on top. [Esther Harper]


Pic 13: Aerial view of Feeny Road junction, near Dungiven, on 29 April 2021. At this point, the 'temporary' road (which ran on the bottom side of the bridge in this view) had already been removed. The bridge itself was being surfaced, and it opened to trafic on 30 April. With the temporary road out of the way, work is now underway to complete the two sets of sliproads and the dual-carriageway beneath this bridge. [Benbradagh]


Pic 14: Aerial view of Magheramore Road bridge, near Dungiven on 26 May 2021. The road under the bridge is well advanced and Magheramore Road itself is due to reopen to traffic on 31 May. In the photo you can see work underway to lay tarmac over the bridge in preparation for this. Once completed, the temporary road that traffic used while the bridge was being built - just beyond the bridge and partly hidden in this view - will be removed and the new road completed. [Aerial Vision NI]


Pic 15: The huge crane being assembled - by another crane! - at the River Roe bridge, near Dungiven, on 19 May 2021. The crane itself is on a specially-constructed pad to spread its weight as this is very soft ground. The beam lift itself began on 24 May and should be completed today, 26 May. [Benbradagh]


Pic 16: The crane in action lifting first of the central beams into place at the River Roe bridge on 25 May 2021, while a lorry carrying the next beam waits beside it. This crane had been used at Liberty Glen two weeks earlier. [Les Ross]


Pic 17: Underneath view of the central span of the River Roe bridge with six of its eight beams in place on 25 May 2021. Each beam weighs 80 tonnes, so this span alone has 640 tonnes of beams. [Paul McCloskey]


Pic 18: 17 of the 24 bridge beams in place at the River Roe bridge as seen on 26 May 2021. This bridge consists of 24 beams, in three spans. The central beams are the longest, and weigh 80 tonnes apiece. Some large trees had to be felled for this bridge, but the remainder of the vegetation under the bridge is undisturbed by all this work. [Aerial Vision NI]


Pic 19: The terminus of the scheme at Magherabuoy roundabout, seen on 26 May 2021. The existing A6 into Dungiven is on the right. Works to realign the entrance to the Tracys Way and Abbeyfields housing developments is evident on the right. The 'circle' of the future roundabout is starting to become visible. The crane at the River Roe can be seen in the upper left corner. [Aerial Vision NI]

21 Apr 2021: This update shows how advanced the scheme now is, with work on all structures underway or completed. The next six weeks are going to see beam lifts on the largest bridges on the whole scheme - Liberty Glen within the next fortnight, and at the River Roe bridge near Dungiven in late May. Once those are in place, and with beams at Ardmore Road likely to be in place soon too, only the Killaloo Road bridge will remain without its beams (plus a small accommodation bridge at Burntollet which will be built towards the end of the scheme). There are 19 photographs below with thanks to the usual suspects - Benbradagh, Alan Lynas, Paul McCloskey, Martin Lynch, Esther Harper and Arthur Ming. Our grateful thanks as always. I will include more commentary in the captions. Not shown in the pictures are Feeny Road and Magheramore Road bridges, both at Dungiven. Both of these bridges will come into use in the near future - Magheramore Road bridge should be open any day now, while Feeny Road bridge should be open next week.

But before we come to those, I must share this great aerial movie, taken by Aidey Heaney on 14 April. I recommend you switch it to HD playback for the best experience. It does not show every inch of the scheme, but focuses on certain areas. Some indications of what you are looking at are given below (numbers are minutes:seconds into the video):

  • 0:00 Starting at Drumahoe, this is McCay's accommodation bridge.
  • 0:30 Construction of Liberty Glen bridge, the longest bridge on the whole scheme.
  • 0:45 Jumping to The Oaks accommodation bridge, near Burntollet.
  • 1:08 Construction of Burntollet bridge, with part of the new bridge in use and the 1950s bridge still in place.
  • 1:30 Approaching Baranailt Road junction, Claudy with the "old" A6, now disused, visible to the left of the new road.
  • 1:45 Baranailt Road junction, Claudy.
  • 2:05 Gortilea Road bridge.
  • 2:30 Very advanced stretch of the new A6 approaching Foreglen with Munreery accommodation bridge ahead.
  • 3:15 Killunaught Road bridge.
  • 3:35 Derrychrier Road underpass.
  • 4:10 Owenrigh river bridge, immediately followed by Magheramore Road bridge.
  • 4:50 Construction of River Roe bridge, near Dungiven.

There is a second video here, for those who would love to drive the works, but have not been able to do so. This video was taken about a month ago by Diarmaid Macfheargail from a car and takes in a good run along a new stretch of the road westbound from near Claudy, past Burntollet to Tamnaherin Road (where Peter's house is apparently located!!). The video then turns round and goes back the same way.

The photos are, as always, arranged in order from west (Drumahoe) to east (Dungiven).


Pic 1: The "temporary" terminus of the scheme is here at Lismacarol roundabout, in Drumahoe, seen on 6 Apr 2021. The park-and-ride is completed but not yet in use, with large concrete pipes blocking access. The roundabout is not yet operating as a roundabout. You can see how the current A6 (where the cars are) will be diverted to meet the roundabout once the new road is open. [Benbradagh]


Pic 2: Aerial view of Liberty Glen bridge on 6 Apr 2021. This bridge, the longest on the whole scheme, is almost ready for its three spans of beams, which are due to be craned into position around the end of April. [Benbradagh]


Pic 3: Traffic is still being diverted around the site of Tamnaherin Road bridge, whose deck will be at ground level. When this was taken, on 6 Apr 2021, the bridge aburtments were ready but had not yet received their beams (see next pic). Once the bridge is completed traffic will be diverted over it, and then Tamhaherin Road will be excavated down to pass beneath the new bridge. You can see how the structure of the new dual-carriageway beyond the site is largely completed. [Benbradagh]


Pic 4: Much excitement on 12 Apr 2021 as the beams for Tamnaherin Road bridge were craned into position. [Polyanne]


Pic 5: Tamnaherin Road bridge seen five days after the beam lift, on 17 Apr 2021. The new road will pass over this bridge from left to right. Eventually the ground under it will be excavated to create a new underpass for Tamnaherin Road. [Arthur Ming]


Pic 6: Dusk view looking over the "temporary" road at Tamnaherin Road on 13 Apr 2021, showing the new dual-carriageway beyond completed right up to this point. The "kink" in the drainage channel is the start of the eastbound offslip to the future Tamnaherin Road junction, which will be located behind the camera. [Polyanne]


Pic 7: Moving towards Burntollet, this is The Oaks accommodation bridge seen on 6 Apr 2021, with work on the deck underway. All A6 traffic is currently using the future Ervey Road Link on the right, giving the engineers free reign at the bridge site. The Ervey Road Link will run alongside the A6 to join the Tamnaherin Road junction. [Benbradagh]


Pic 8: View west from Burntollet on 18 Apr 2021 showing the route of the future dual-carriageway with the Oaks accommodation bridge on the right. The road in the foreground is a temporary stretch joining the existing A6 (bottom left) to the Ervey Road Link (top right). It will eventually be removed. [Alan Lynas]


Pic 9: Fascinating view of the Burntollet area on 6 Apr 2021. On the left is half of the new bridge, which is currently carrying all A6 traffic. To the right of that is the old 1950s Burntollet bridge, which carried all traffic until a few months ago. It has yet to be demolished, though work is already underway on the foundations for the second half of the new bridge which will replace it. On the right is the future Ardmore Road bridge, over the Faughan river. A crane was present for a few days this month, possible to assist with the assembly of the three huge sets of steel beams that can be seen beside it. As if all this was not enough, another bridge has still to be built here - the Burntollet Woodland Trust accommodation bridge, a pedestrian bridge which will run over the Burntollet river beneath the new A6 bridge! [Benbradagh]


Pic 10: Aerial view of Killaloo junction on 6 Apr 2021. This is now the least-advanced bridge on the scheme, primarily because traffic had to be diverted onto the new westbound carriageway (on the right here) before work could begin on the northern abutment (on the left). The switchover of traffic happened at Easter. The B74 Glenshane Road (which takes you into Claudy from here) will be closed from 30 April. Gulf Road (which heads off to the left here) is currently closed but is due to reopen in autumn 2021. This may coincide with the opening of the new bridge. [Benbradagh]


Pic 11: View east along the new road from about 1 mile west of the Claudy junction on 6 Apr 2021. At this point the new dual-carriageway runs slightly to one side of the old road, which will remain in situ, albeit with a reduced width, to maintain access to properties along here. Note the completed westbound layby. All traffic is using the future westbound carriageway here, which sports temporary road markings including hatching for this side road (which also leads to the contractor's main compound). [Benbradagh]


Pic 12: Moving to Claudy, this is the view north-east towards Baranailt Road from the new A6 bridge on 18 Apr 2021. Until just a few weeks ago the old A6 ran from left to right where the diggers are, but it has now been excavated down to make the future underpass. The gap to the left in the foreground will lead to the eastbound pair of sliproads on/off the A6. There will eventually be a bus stop to the right of the diggers. [Martin Lynch]


Pic 13: This is the same locality as pic 12, except this view is taken from the red-and-white barrier seen in pic 12 and looking towards the A6 bridge and the newly-excavated underpass. 18 Apr 2021 [Martin Lynch]


Pic 14: Telephoto shot of Ballyhanedin Road overbridge on 18 Apr 2021, looking west with the existing A6 on the right. The existing A6 will be maintained as a local road with the new road running beside it at a lower elevation. Beyond this bridge (not visible here) is Gortilea Road bridge which is due to open to traffic in May. [Esther Harper]


Pic 15: View of the underside of Munreary accommodation bridge, west of Foreglen village, on 18 Apr 2021, with beams in place and bridge deck well underway. This will preserve access to various areas of farmland and some residential properties. [Esther Harper]


Pic 16: View of Owenbeg river bridge on 18 Apr 2021. Construction of the bridge deck is well underway. The gap beneath the bridge is low, but not quite as low as it looks - the beams are very large. [Esther Harper]


Pic 17: Closeup of works for the wingwalls for the Owenbeg riber bridge on 18 Apr 2021. On the left and on top of the abutment are large quantites of steel reinforcement which will be encased in concrete. The black material on the concrete is a waterproofing layer, which is now being encased behind protective blockwork. The new road will run from behind the camera to in front of the camera above head height, once the approach embankments have been constructed. [Esther Harper]


Pic 18: Aerial shot of the River Roe bridge on 6 Apr 2021. At this point the two sets of intermediate piers were in place, with work underway to tie them together at the top to form a base for the beams. Three spans of beams will be required here, and these are currently scheduled to be craned into place at the end of May 2021. This bridge has very large approach embankments on either side. [Benbradagh]


Pic 19: At the terminus of the scheme at Magherabuoy, on the east side of Dungiven, work is underway on 18 Apr 2021. As shown in this photo, which is looking east, work is focused on constructing a new access road into the Tracys Way housing development, as the original access has to be closed to facilitate the new roundabout. Similar work also has to take place at Magherabuoy Terrace, whose entrance also has to be relocated further from the new roundabout. [Paul McCloskey]

24 Mar 2021: The scheme is now into its final year and we are starting to see the road take on its final shape in an ever-increasing number of locations. Some of the least-advanced bridges are also progressing, with beam lifts imminent at both Liberty Glen and Ardmore Road, while the Owenbeg river crossing finally got its beams in the past month too. Another milestone was the transfer of traffic onto one carriageway of the new road at Claudy, on 10 March, and the commencement of works for the terminal roundabout at Magherabuoy, on the eastern side of Dungiven, on 22 March. The pictures below detail the progress at various places and as usual are arranged in order from west to east (Derry to Dungiven) and are with grateful thanks to Benbradagh, Alan Lynas, Paul McCloskey, Esther Harper, Arthur Ming and Les Ross as always to them for keeping us so well-informed. The only places I haven't seen photos from recently are Tamnaherin Road and Killaloo grade-separated junctions, so sorry that they are not represented.


Pic 1: Liberty Glen bridge seen looking east on 23 March, showing a lot of progress since Febraury. The central piers are now being connected together to form the base for the installation of three spans of bridge beams. [Arthur Ming]


Pic 2: View looking west (towards Derry) from Liberty Glen bridge, showing that the section of dual-carriageway ahead is very advanced indeed, with drainage installed, a base course of asphalt laid and planting completed. 23 Mar 2021 [Arthur Ming]


Pic 3: Several bridge beams have recently arrived near to Liberty Glen bridge. These are probably some of the beams that will be installed at Liberty Glen in the coming weeks. 23 Mar 2021 [Arthur Ming]


Pic 4: View of Burntollet bridge on 7 March 2021, showing piling works taking place for the abutments of the second half of the bridge here. It's impossible to tell from this angle whether the "old" 1950s Burntollet Bridge has been demolished yet - does anyone know? [Alan Lynas]


Pic 5: View looking east towards Burntollet Bridge from The Oaks side on 7 March 2021. The old road (which ran roughly where the gravel is) has now been completely removed, excavated deeper down, and is now being rebuilt to form the future eastbound carriageway. [Alan Lynas]


Pic 6: View west from the same location as picutre 5, towards The Oaks accommodation bridge, visible in the distance, on 7 Mar 2021. The old A6 ran where the gravel is, and has been completely removed. The new dual-carriageway is being built where it was. All traffic is currently using the temporry road that heads off to the right. This bit will eventually be removed, while the remainder (off frame to the right) will become part of the new Ervey Road link, which will run parallel to the A6 for a distance. [Alan Lynas]


Pic 7: Aerial view of Claudy overbridge on 12 Mar 2021, a couple of days after traffic was diverted onto it, using the future westbound carriageway. The old A6, which is to the left of the yellow van, had just been closed at this point and is now being excavated to create the cutting for the local Baranailt Road, which will run beneath it to join the road visible at the upper left. The yellow van is on the future eastbound carriageway, which is not yet open. The wide gap between the carriageways over this bridge is to provide sufficient forward sightlines for traffic heading west. [Benbradagh]


Pic 8: Gortilea Road bridge seen from the air on 12 Mar 2021. This local road, which simply passes over the new road, has been closed for over a year. The overburden (basically, a large pile of rock and earth) which sat to the right of the bridge for several months (purpose being to compress the soft ground more speedily) has now been removed and the embankment for the road itself at last seems to be underway. Work also seems to be taking place on the road itself, with a lot of earthwork evident over the past month. [Benbradagh]


Pic 9: Ballyhanedin Road bridge, which is about 1 km east of Gortilea Road, is also an active site, with the bridge deck partly in place and the embankment on the right being built up too, as seen on 12 Mar 2021. [Benbradagh]


Pic 10: View beneath Ballyhanedin Road bridge on 21 March 2021, showing three bridge beams and completed shuttering between them to facilitate construction of the deck above. The temporary working platforms (falsework) on either side are also visible. [Esther Harper]


Pic 11: An accommodation bridge (which exist to preserve access to private property) just east of Ballyhanedin Road with its bridge deck under construction on 12 Mar 2021. Note the hollow abutments, which will be filled in in due course. The road itself here is more advanced, with base courses of gravel in place. [Benbradagh]


Pic 12: The new dual-carriageway is very advanced here, at Altagarron Road on 12 Mar 2021. Both carriageways have (at least) base courses of asphalt laid and drainage in place. Still needed are the crash barriers, final wearing courses of asphalt and signage. [Benbradagh]


Pic 13: View west through the huge Ovil Hill cutting on 12 Mar 2021. Again, surfacing has recently been installed here. The number of stretches of road that are close to completion is increasing all the time. Huge numbers of trees have been planted in the foreground. [Benbradagh]


Pic 14: Killunaught Road bridge, not far from Dernaflaw, got its bridge beams about six weeks ago and work is now underway on the deck, though the concrete for the deck has yet to be poured. New accommodation lanes are being built along the left side of the new road here, on top of the banks. Once again, a lot of progress is evident on the surface of the new road itself. 12 Mar 2021 [Benbradagh]


Pic 15: Closeup of the asphalt batching plant - basically, a tarmac factory - near Derrychrier Road on 12 Mar 2021. Though this noisy and smelly facility will definitely not be missed by local residents when it is gone, it is currently doing a huge amount of work manufacturing asphalt surfacing for the new road. Various grades of stone can be seen stored beside it. [Benbradagh]


Pic 16: The Owenbeg river bridge near Dernaflaw finally got its bridge beams (all eight of them) earlier in March. In this shot, the shuttering between the beams is in place but work on the deck itself has yet to take place. 12 Mar 2021 [Benbradagh]


Pic 17: Ground-level view of Owenbeg River bridge on 21 March 2021, about ten days after the previous shot, showing the falsework bolted onto the sides of one beam to allow workers to access it. This shot shows how little space there is below this bridge compared to, say, the River Roe bridge at Dungiven. [Esther Harper]


Pic 18: The site of Feeny Road junction looking west on 12 Mar 2021. The bridge is completed but the road has not yet been rebuilt over it. The pink material is a waterproofing layer on the bridge deck. The west-facing sliproad loop is really taking shape at the bottom left. Earthworks on the new road itself are also very evident. At some point Feeny Road will be realigned over the new bridge, and then the temporary road will be removed to complete the cutting. It was recently announced that a park-and-ride facility is to be built at this junction, though not as part of the current contract. [Benbradagh]


Pic 19: The River Roe bridge, south of Dungiven, as seen on 9 Mar 2021. This bridge still looks to be some weeks away from a beam lift, which will be quite a sight when it is underway given the height of the bridge deck. One carriageway of the future dual-carriagway is well advanced ahead. Benbradagh recently shared an aerial movie of this bridge, taken a few days later than this picture. [Les Ross]


Pic 20: View looking west of Priory Lane bridge, Dungiven, which is completed though not yet open to the public. Earthworks still seem to be outstanding on the left here. The new dual-carriageway here is very advanced with asphalt in place. It is likely that the crane will need to come down this stretch to reach the River Roe bridge (in the middle distance) when the time comes for the beam lift. 12 Mar 2021. [Benbradagh]


Pic 21: Work began here, on the current A6 Chapel Road at the eastern side of Dungiven, on Monday this week, 22 March 2021. This is the view the day before. This is the site of a future roundabout  which will be known as Magherabuoy Roundabout, and marks the terminus of the new dual-carriageway. The works are schedueld to last about eight months, so we should see work completed around the end of November. [Paul McCloskey]

Older updates can be found in the archive.

Background to Scheme

The Regional Strategic Transport Plan, published in 2004, explained why it was thought that further dualling of the 40km of the A6 beyond Castledawson could not go ahead before 2015:

B3.3.41 When the funding envisaged by RTS is extended to 2015, there would be £529.4m available for Strategic Road Improvements in the RSTN TP period. However, this is fully taken up by the high priority SRIs proposed across the RSTN, including the £171.9m envisaged for SRI schemes on routes serving the North-West. Therefore, within the funding assumptions of this Plan, it would not be realistic to expect that further dualling of the A6 could be undertaken within the Plan period (apart from the Randalstown to Castledawson section already proposed). B3.3.42 However, further dualling of the A6 will be required outside the RSTN Plan period, in order to develop and upgrade the link between Northern Irelandís two largest cities by 2025. Therefore, during the Plan period it will be necessary to plan the route of a dual carriageway between Castledawson and Derry, by undertaking a route selection study. This will inform the decision regarding the acquisition of land and route protection lines, e.g. for the Dungiven Bypass.

This lack of funding was rectified suddenly and somewhat unexpectedly in December 2005 by the announcement of sufficient funding for the Dungiven to Derry section. Prophetically, the RSTN did comment that "It is... likely that future dualling in the 2015 to 2025 period will commence at the Londonderry end of the route." This is because traffic levels are highest at the Toome and Derry ends of the A6, and lowest at the Glenshane Pass and because of the difficult terrain crossing the Sperrins. Traffic figures collected in 2004 showed the following daily traffic at various points on the A6:

  • Toome - 21160 vehicles
  • Castledawson - 14880 vehicles
  • Ranaghan (Glenshane Pass) - 10470 vehicles
  • Western edge of Dungiven - 13820 vehicles
  • Altnagelvin, Londonderry - 12930 vehicles
  • Rossdowney, Londonderry - 26930 vehicles

Thanks to Diarmaid Elder for the traffic information on this page