A8 dualling - Coleman's Corner to Larne


Construction scheme (completed)
Contractor: Lagan/Ferrovial/Costain

To complete the dualling of the Belfast to Larne road by filling in the remaining stretch from Coleman's Corner near Ballyclare to the A36 Shane's Hill Road / B100 Ballyrickard Road at Ballyedward, south of Larne.
Total Length
14.4km / 8.9 miles

Mar 2007 - Suggestions that the Republic of Ireland may partially fund the scheme.

17 Jul 2007 - Northern Ireland Executive accepts offer of money and agrees to proceed with the scheme.

11 Nov 2008 - Preliminary route options published

5 August 2009 - Preferred route announced
26 Jan 2010 - Contractor appointed

Emerging design published - Aug/Sep 2010

Environmental Statement / draft orders - January 2011

Formal public exhibition - 25-26 Jan 2011

Public inquiry held 15-23 June 2011
Work was due to commence in June 2012 (as of May 2012) (changed from "Apr/May 2012" as of Feb 2012, and "by 2013" as of Apr 2008)

Work actually began early August 2012, to last 34 months

"First Sod" ceremony - 11 Oct 2012

Ballynure Bypass stretch opened - 9 Feb 2015

All lanes opened - 29 May 2015 (changed from Jun 2015 at project commencement)

Sep 2015 - 4 weeks of lane closures to correct substandard surfacing material
Completion of all landscaping works - Dec 2015 (as of Jun 2015)
Official opening - 16 Dec 2015


£133m as of Dec 2015
(changed from £110m-£120m as of Feb 2012; itself changed from £113m as of August 2009)

Of which €18.372 funded by European Commission TEN-T funding.
See important note on costs below.

See below
See Also

General area map
Official contractor's web site on scheme - Lagan / Ferrovial / Costain

Official DRD web site on scheme - Roads Service
European Commission page for this scheme - part of Trans-European Transport Network or TEN-T

A8 Corr's Corner to Coleman's Corner on this site

A8 Ballyedward to Larne Harbour on this site

Ballynure Southern Link road on this site

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

The A8 is the principal route from Belfast to the major sea port of Larne, where a large percentage of Northern Ireland's freight (and a smaller percentage of Republic of Ireland freight) enters arrives and departs. The A8 runs from the M2 at Glengormley to Larne and also forms part of European Route E01. Approximately a third of the route is already dualled, consisting of a stretch at the south end and a stretch at the Larne end. Although the remaining road is straight and well built, the presence of large numbers of HGVs on the route means that the average speed is lower than for other similar roads. As of 2008 the average traffic level was 18,000 vehicles per day, close to the upper limit for a single-carriageway road. This project, which is being supported by the Irish Republic, will see the remainder of the road dualled to a high standard. The map below shows the approximate route proposed in red, with new grade separated junctions marked by blue dots and roundabouts by red dots. For a more detailed map, see here. Scroll on down for a strip map of grade-separated junctions.

Route and Standard

The road will be built as a "Category 6" dual-carriageway. This is the second highest standard for an all purpose road. It means that the road will have two lanes in each direction, no breaks in the central reservation and all junctions will be either grade separated, limited to left-turns only or be in the form of roundabouts. The road will have 1 metre hard strips on each side.

For a detailed PDF map of the route, as announced in August 2009, click here. The route is essentially an online upgrade of the existing road, with two exceptions.

  • Starting at the existing Coleman's Corner roundabout (Hillhead Road turnoff) the new road runs online as far as Ballynure, except for a short detour round the east side of Bruslee hamlet.
  • On this stretch there are a pair of Left-in/Left-out junctions at Lisglass Road; a compact grade separated junction to serve Calhame Road/Green Road/Legaloy Road.
  • At Ballynure the road diverges offline to the west before the current A57 roundabout. A grade separated junction here serves the A57 and the south side of Ballynure.
  • Continuing round the west of Ballynure, in the Six Mile Water valley, the road rejoins the line of the current A8 north of Ballynure at Ballybracken Road where there is another grade separated junction.
  • The road then continues online all the way to the A36 Shanes Hill Road junction (townland of Ballyedward), where there will be a new at-grade roundabout. Along this stretch there will be compact grade separated junctions at Moss Road and Deerpark Road/Park Road.
  • There will be numerous left-in/left-out T-junctions dotted along both sides of the road.

The picture below is from the Roads Service web site (here) and dates from August 2009. It shows how the new road may look. The visual anticipates quite heavy traffic.

Visualisation of A8 dual carriageway

Grade-Separated Junction Strip Map

This strip map shows all the grade-separated junctions to be constructed as part of the new dual-carriageway, along with the terminating roundabouts. Note that the road will also have multiple left-in/left-out T-junctions along its length, between the principal junctions shown below. These are not shown on the strip map.


Begins as existing A8 dual-carriageway at Ballyrickard Road


(at-grade roundabout)

A36 Shanes Hill Road
(to Ballymena)
B100 Ballyrickard Road

2.4 km / 1.5 miles - 2+2 lanes


Deerpark Road

Deerpark Road

FP McCann Quarry

1.9 km / 1.2 miles - 2+2 lanes


Moss Road
Moss Road

2.4 km / 1.5 miles - 2+2 lanes

(north-facing sliproads only)

Ballybracken Road

B?? (Existing A8)
into Ballynure

3.1 km / 1.9 miles - 2+2 lanes


A57 Templepatrick Road
(to Templepatrick)

B?? (Existing A8)
into Ballynure

B58 Carrickfergus Road

1.6 km / 1.0 miles - 2+2 lanes

Green Road
(to Ballyclare)

Legaloy Road

Calhame Road
(to Straid)
3.0 km / 1.9 miles - 2+2 lanes
(at-grade roundabout)

B94 Hillhead Road
(to Ballyclare)

Old Belfast Road
(local access)

Carntall Road
(to Mossley)
Ends as existing A8 dual-carriageway at Coleman's Corner

Historical Background

Larne Council have been campaigning for the route to be dualled but until 2006 Roads Service had no plans to proceed in the following 10 years. However, during the optimistic political developments of April 2007 the Irish government offered a "peace dividend" to build infrastructure in Northern Ireland. The two schemes to benefit were the dualling of the A5 from Londonderry to the Irish border at Aughnacloy, and this scheme to dual the A8.

Between 1999 and 2000 a detailed study was carried out on the A8 with a view to improving the route. This resulted in the construction of a short stretch of dual-carriageway between Houston's Corner and Coleman's Corner (at the south end of this project), a roundabout with climbing lanes at the south side of Ballynure, the Ballynure Southern Link Road. Funding at the time was limited, so a full dualling scheme did not take place. Plans to widen the rest of the A8 to dual-carriageway standard had however been on the cards for some time and in fact a road protection corridor exists for the entire route.

However, in the eight years since then the funding level has increased dramatically. This means that the current planners are no longer limited by the route protection corridor. They are now able to examine other options, including partly or fully offline routes for a new road, and more ambitious junction improvements, including grade separation (ie flyovers). The public consultation held in May 2008 informed the public of this newfound freedom and prepared landowners on the route for some of the options that may be proposed as the scheme develops.

The Ballynure Southern Link Road (a bit like the south-eastern quarter of an imaginary ring round Ballynure) opened in 2005, prior to the decision to upgrade the whole A8. At the time there was a suggestion that it could one day be upgraded to dual-carriageway and form part of a new eastern bypass around Ballynure. However this did not happen as the alignment of that road was not good enough for the proposed Category 6 dual-carriageway, so it will remain as a local road.


20 Dec 2015: The A8 scheme was "officially" opened by the DRD Minister on 16 December (ironically requiring part of the road to be closed for the event!). I think it's likely that the associated landscaping works that were due to be completed in December are now done, so now say that we can this scheme is completely finished. The DRD Minister commented "Since the scheme began in August 2012 over two million cubic metres of earthworks material was excavated, including over 500,000 cubic metres of rock. Almost one third of a million tonnes of bituminous material was used for the road construction." Once again, well done to the contractor, Lagan/Ferrovial/Costain and their subcontractors for an excellent job completed on time and on budget.

Pictured at the official opening are (L-R) Deidre Mackle (Transport NI Divisional Manager), DRD Minister Michelle McIlveen, Enrique Nieto (Ferrovial), Adrian Bennett (Costain), and John Cunningham (Lagan). [DRD image]

11 Dec 2015: Although the scheme has been "completed" from road users' point of view since late May (apart from some closures for resurfacing), work is still ongoing on the final elements of the scheme. In a Question in the Assembly about four weeks ago the DRD Minister stated that "since [opening of all 4 lanes in May 2015] as the Member will be aware, localised traffic management along the scheme has been required to facilitate ancillary works on side roads, utility works and the completion of the landscaping works during the planting season. Construction of this 8·7-mile-long dual carriageway scheme commenced in August 2012 and is on target for contract completion at the end of December 2015". She also noted that the current estimated total project cost is £133m, around what was expected. If any work is still ongoing it will be landscape-related, so I think we can expect all outstanding works to be completed before the end of 2015. There is some talk about a "court case" involving the A8, but I do know what this refers to, who might be involved, or how major or minor it might be so that is all I can say! Anyhow, well done to the contractor, Lagan/Ferrovial/Costain and their subcontractors for an excellent job completed on time and on budget.

9 Nov 2015: I have decided to mark this scheme as "completed". When exactly we date completion from is a slightly tricky problem. From the point of view of motorists, all four lanes opened to traffic on 29 May 2015. However there were lengthy lane closures in June and September to replace defective surfacing material, meaning that a reasonable amount of construction work was still going on until September. And there are landscaping works that will take place until the end of 2015. So I'm going to instead list the scheme's "opening date", 29 May 2015 and regard any works after that as remedial in nature rather than proper construction.

26 Sep 2015: As reported in the previous update, the road was reduced back down to one lane in a few locations in June to re-lay some tarmac that was found to be “substandard”. It has now emerged (via the Larne Times) that the same problem has been found on additional stretches, and so lane/speed restrictions were re-imposed from 8 September and are due to last for one month. So we could expect the road to be back open again around the first week of October. This work is being carried out at the contractor’s own expense, so there is no cost to the taxpayer.

5 Jul 2015: Regular users of this road will have noticed that some stretches have been reduced back to a single lane over the past few weeks. According to a report in the Larne Times three days ago (no longer online), this was due to some of the tarmac being found to be "defective". The term "defective" makes the problem sound grander than it really is. Probably what happened is that routine checks at the end of the project discovered that the precise makeup of the material didn't meet the contracted specification in these locations. There are strict rules for these things so if it was not right then replacing the material would have been both necessary and appropriate, and it will have been done at the contractor's expense. In this case it looks as if the tarmac replacement work is now completed so people can go back to enjoying this lovely road - like the Freight Transport Association who are very impressed. Meanwhile, according to a Written Answer in the Assembly in mid June, the Minister said that the main outstanding works are "to complete some works such as the tie in to side roads and accommodation works along the scheme". "Accommodation works" means things designed to assist landowners affected by the scheme, eg new driveways for houses or new access arrangements for fields. The Minister also noted that "Landscaping works will also be taking place in the autumn planting season and, with favourable weather conditions, should be completed by December 2015". So we could expect the project to be completely finished by December, but with the actual engineering works likely to be completed before then, perhaps by the end of the summer.

1 Jun 2015: All four lanes of the new dual-carriageway were opened to traffic late on Friday evening, 29th May, with the exception of a few hundred metres either side of Shaneshill Road roundabout at the very north end of the scheme. The temporary speed limit was also removed, meaning that vehicles can now travel at up to 70mph along almost all of the road. From the point of view of the traveling public, this marks the “completion” of the scheme - however work will likely continue for a few weeks yet as there is still a lot of ancillary work to be carried out, such as tidying up loose ends, vegetation works etc. A marvelous achievement to the contractor who has been working since August 2012. The DRD Minister did issue a press release on 30 May 2015 which I read, but for some reason it doesn’t appear on the NI Executive Press Releases page so I can't link to it. In that he thanks the traveling public and the contractor and comments that “this important scheme is expected due to be fully completed in early July”. So I think we are about a month or so away from actual completion of the remaining works.

13 May 2015: I was honoured to be given a guided tour of the scheme by Aidan Kearney, the project's public liaison officer, last week which was very informative - my grateful thanks. The scheme is now very advanced, as evidenced by the four photos I include below. At the north end of the scheme the A36 Shane's Hill Road, which was shut for a while to be diverted, has now reopened again, and now meets the new roundabout on the A8. The work here appears to have been delayed by third party service works that were beyond the control of the contractor, but it seems sorted now. It was obvious from everything I saw that the scheme is in its final weeks now, with the remaining areas of tarmac being laid, the central crash barrier being installed and tensioned, and thousands of trees being planted. There is still some work needed in a few isolated spots, such as on the local roads at the A57/A8 junction, and at the very north end of the scheme, and I suspect much of the work is focused in these particular areas. At the A57 junction, the local service cables that were left suspended above the new road when the A57 bridge was built, are still there. It was explained that these are doing no harm where they are and will be moved by their owner in due course. The entire road is still coned down to one lane with a 40mph speed limit, but the contractor intends to open both lanes in each direction in roughly two weeks' time, at the end of May which is great news. An excellent job by all involved.

Pic 1: View south-west, towards Belfast, from Green Road flyover on 8 May 2015 showing work largely completed with some localised works ongoing in the the central reservation. [Wesley Johnston]

Pic 2: At Ballynure, this is the view north-west on 8 May 2015 along Church Road where the new Ballynure Bypass stretch crosses over both this road and the Ballynure river on a flyover. This part of the road seems completely finished. The river is protected by some pretty robust looking crash barriers. [Wesley Johnston]

Pic 3: View south-west from Ballybracken Road roundabout at the north end of Ballynure on 8 May 2015. The new A8 is carried on this bridge, now completed, while the road beneath gives access to some local properties and also the northbound onslip onto the A8. Just a few local works are evident in this shot, eg the mini digger on the verge above. [Wesley Johnston]

Pic 4: Finally, this is the view south (towards Belfast) from Moss Road junction on 8 May 2015 showing how works here are largely completed as well. A lot of white lining/hatching/chevron work has gone in recent weeks. [Wesley Johnston]

1 Mar 2015: We are probably now less than three months off completion of this project, and already we are starting to see the "final" look of the road in many places. The most notable change in the past month was the opening of the new Ballynure Bypass on Monday 9 February 2015, which is initially operating with one lane only in each direction and with a temporary speed limit. This also resulted in the complete (but temporary) closure of access into Ballynure from the north side of the town (ie from the future Ballybracken Road junction), meaning that the original A8 has been quieter over the past few weeks than at any time for several decades (see pic 12 below). The press release linked above also says that the estimated cost of the scheme is now £130m, which is higher than the figure of £110-120m being quoted shortly before the scheme began. The photos below were taken two weeks ago by Noel O'Rawe and illustrate the progress at various points on the scheme starting at the south end (Coleman's Corner) and ending at the north end (the roundabout at Shane's Hill Road). As this is likely to be Noel's last photoshoot of the scheme before it is completed, can I say on behalf of myself and all site visitors how much we appreciate Noel for documenting this scheme and for the many hours he spent on site that has allowed the rest of us to watch progress over the past two and a half years. It has been one of the most well-documented schemes I have followed on this site.

Pic 1: View north from Coleman's Corner roundabout on 15 Feb 2015 showing traffic now using both carriageways of the new road (one lane on each) so that the "triangle" where it meets the roundabout can be completed. The way a road curves just before it reaches a roundabout is known as the "deflection" as it orients vehicles correctly for entering or exiting the roundabout. The central crash barrier here also does not yet seem to be in place. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 2: Work to divert the original A8 at Bruslee (ahead, right) onto the existing Glen Road (to right of camera) is now completed. The Bruslee stretch of the A8 was bypassed by the new road which is visible on the left. 15 Feb 2015. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 3: View south-west (towards Belfast) from the Green Road flyover on 15 Feb 2015 showing the new road very close to completion with the structure of the junction completed; barriers, lights and signage in place; and works now focusing on tidying up the road surface and adding the final lane markings. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 4: Sign at the start of the new Ballynure Bypass (on the right) indicating the northbound offslip to the A57 and Ballynure village (on the left). I had asked the question as to whether it was correct to show "B58" in yellow - with thanks to Phil Brown who showed me the relevant paragraph of the traffic signs manual which demonstrated that this is permitted at this location. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 5: The view north along the new Ballynure Bypass on 15 Feb 2015 with the bridge that carries the A57 Templepatrick Road just ahead. This stretch opened on 9 February 2015 and seems to feature a tensioned-wire central barrier rather than a traditional steel barrier. The road here descends via an enormous cutting - the ground above the camera was originally level with the A57 road ahead. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 6: View south (towards Belfast) along the line of the original A8 on 15 Feb 2015 at the point where the new road diverges offline to bypass Ballynure (on the right). Part of the existing A8 is being retained on the left to provide access to property. Click here for the same view before work began. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 7: Still looking south (towards Belfast) along the line of the original A8 on 15 Feb 2015, but from slightly closer to Ballynure than the previous image. At this point the existing road has been reconstructed to form the southbound onslip (left) and southbound offslip (right). The new A8 is out of sight beyond the brown bank on the right. Beyond the crash barrier on the extreme left is a third, new, road that provides access to properties. Click here for the same view before work began. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 8: The A57 bridge viewed from underneath, ie from the new A8, on 15 Feb 2015. This view is looking south west with Belfast to the left and Larne to the right. Some utility cables that were previously buried under the old A57 are *still* suspended in mid air on the left! These cables mark the line of the original A57, showing just how much excavation has been done here. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 9: The view north east (towards Larne) along the recently opened Ballynure Bypass from Lismenary Road bridge on 15 Feb 2015. The bridge ahead is an "accommodation bridge", ie for use only by local landowners to maintain access to farmland and property. Note the huge number of trees which have been planted on the verges. In ten years this underpass is going to look as if it goes through a forest. Note also how the tensioned-wire central barrier stops just before the bridge to be replaced by a pair of conventional steel barriers to provide extra protection. The road here lies in a long cutting, which required a huge amount of excavation - the land here was all previously at the same level as the camera and the bridge ahead. There is also a very happy traffic cone salesperson somewhere! [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 10: View east from the A8 towards the roundabout that has been built at Ballybracken Road north of Ballynure. When this picture was taken on 15 Feb 2015 access to/from the A8 had been temporarily closed here. The road visible going to the left from this roundabout is the future southbound offslip from the A8 and is shown in the next image below. The road beneath the camera will be the future northbound onslip to the A8, although it is two-way here as it also gives access to private property half way along the sliproad. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 11: View from Ballybracken Road on 15 Feb 2015 showing the new bit of road that temporarily carried all A8 traffic for most of the winter. This has now been closed to be rebuilt as the southbound offslip. In this shot we see the tarmac on the left being removed - this is likely to be to reduce the width of the road now that it will only need to accommodate one traffic lane rather than two. For reference, the roundabout visible in the previous picture is just off shot to the left in this image. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 12: View south along the old A8 towards the northern end of Ballynure from near the Ballybracken Road junction on 15 Feb 2015. The road was closed at the north end and accessible only from Ballynure on the day this photo was taken and was hence deserted. This stretch of road has already been downgraded since the project began, as you can see from this view showing how it once had a northbound overtaking lane here. It's still not clear what number this bit of the old A8 will get when work is complete, but B58 (the number of the existing Ballynure southern link road) is a possibility. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 13: View south west (towards Belfast) from the Moss Road flyover on 15 Feb 2015. At this location the southbound carriageway is completed and in use, while work on the northbound carriageway is very advanced with surfacing work evident and the central crash barrier being installed. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 14: The view south west (towards Belfast) from the Deerpark Road flyover on 15 Feb 2015. The roundabout to the east of the new road is completed and in use (left of centre) while the offslip is currently accessible from both directions via a temporary T-junction (where the yellow signs are on the left). The future northbound carriageway is taking shape but the central crash barrier has yet to be completed and the final surfacing does not yet seem to have been laid. The laneway on the right is actually part of the original A8 that is being retained to provide access to properties that previously fronted directly onto the A8. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 15: View north west along the future line of the A36 Shane's Hill Road on 15 Feb 2015. The road currently runs off frame to the right, but is being curved round here to meet the new roundabout that is being built on the A8 just off to the left of shot. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 16: View of the terminal roundabout at the north end of the scheme on 15 Feb 2015, seen from the same vantage point as the previous image but turning 90° to the left. The new roundabout has now been laid out and traffic is passing round either side of the central island. However it is not yet operating as a roundabout. The new line of the diverted A36 Shane's Hill Road is visible on the right foreground, whilst in the left distance is the diverted Ballyrickard Road, which is also not yet open. The linear pile of what looks like gravel in the middle of the roundabout is probably the tarmac of the old A8 (which passed straight through here) and its foundations being removed. [Noel O'Rawe]

7 Feb 2015: It seems that the new Ballynure Bypass will be opened to traffic early next week, either Monday (9th Feb) or Tuesday (10th Feb) (see Translink web site, for example). Initially it will have just one lane open in each direction and be subject to a temporary 40mph speed limit. The existing A8 will be closed on the north side of the village for a few weeks, presumably to complete the Ballybracken Road junction. These changes should result in the residents of Ballynure seeing an immediate and sudden drop in traffic levels through the village. I am told that the rest of the road should be open by the end of March, although there will continue to be works around the site for some time after that. But it does look as if we are now within 8 weeks of the roads being fully opened, which is great news. Presumably once the project is completed the existing road through the village will lose the number "A8", probably receiving a B-number instead. There is also now an opportunity to reintegrate the two severed halves of the village with the road becoming much less busy.

8 Dec 2014: We are now in the final stretch of the project which, in time terms, is about 80% completed. The 15 photos below were all taken by Noel O'Rawe (thank you) on 23rd November, although I've just had time to put them up this evening. Overall the scheme is very well advanced with at least some form of surfacing now down on around 80% of the final road. The pictures below are arranged in order from south to north. But before we look at the pictures, here (in bullet form) are some specific notes informed by Noel's observations:

  • The bit of the old A8 at Bruslee, now bypassed, is in process of being connected to the Hillhead Road at one end and Glen Road at the other and this work looks close to being completed (pics 1 and 2).
  • Both carriageways between Coleman's Corner (south end of the scheme) and Ballynure are largely laid out and being tarmacked (pics 3 to 5).
  • Rushvale Road has been reopened, and will eventually be a left-in/left-out junction. In the original plans this road was to have been stopped up but this has now changed.
  • New signs are appearing along the whole road, including direction signs and the III, II, I countdown markers for junctions.
  • The old A8 just south of Ballynure is shut while it is rebuilt to become the southbound sliproads for Ballynure (pic 6).
  • On the Ballynure Bypass stretch, Lismenary Road Bridge opened on 29 August. The view from here shows surfacing underway or completed along much of this stretch (pics 7 to 10).
  • The underpass under the future A8 at Ballybracken Road, north of Ballynure, appears to be complete, but not yet open to traffic (pics 11 and 12). Traffic continues to use the future southbound offslip to bypass this section.
  • Moss Road junction is very advanced, although the bridge is not  yet open to traffic (pic 13).
  • Deerpark Road junction is well advanced but not yet fully open (pic 14). The A8 in this locality is the last advanced with work to build the second carriageway still underway.
  • The terminating roundabout at Ballyrickard Road is under construction, with all traffic currently passing through its centre (pic 15). The  Ballyrickard Road is currently being realigned to meet this new roundabout, as is the A36 Shane's Hill Road.

Pic 1: View north along the new A8 from Coleman's Corner roundabout on 23 Nov 2014. All traffic is still using the future southbound carriageway. Straight ahead beyond the barrier is the original A8, now functioning as a local road for property access. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 2: 23 Nov 2014. At the north end of the "Bruslee Bypass" stretch this is the view along the original A8, now being diverted to join the existing Glen Road (the curve just ahead) in order to provide continued access for residents. You can see the new road sweeping in from the right to rejoin the line of the existing road ahead. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 3: View north from Drumadowney Road on 23 Nov 2014 showing the dual-carriageway almost complete with wearing course down on the southbound carriageway, and prepared for the addition of white lines and cats' eyes. The supports for the central crash barrier are in place but the barriers themselves have not yet been fitted. The striped poles ahead are to warn workers about the cables overhead - as well as causing disruption, striking electrical cables with heavy machinery has been known to lead to fatalities in the past. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 4: A foggy view east along Green Road on 23 Nov 2014, towards the bridge over the new A8. Green Road has now been diverted and the new Green Road/Calhame Road overbridge completed. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 5: View south-west, towards Belfast, from the Green Road/Calhame Road flyover on 23 Nov 2014. All traffic is on the future northbound carriageway here, while the southbound carriageway on the left seems to have just had its wearing course of tarmac applied. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 6: View south along the former A8 from the A57/A8 roundabout in Ballynure on 23 Nov 2014 (here). It has been completely shut to allow it to be rebuilt as the southbound on/offslip pair. This requires a central kerb barrier to be installed. A third carriageway is being added at the far left to provide access to private property. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 7: View north from the A57 at Ballynure on 23 Nov 2014 along the Ballynure Bypass stretch. This part of the road appears to be finished and is just awaiting completion of the sections at either end to allow it to be opened. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 8: Looking in the opposite direction (south) as the previous photo from the A57 bridge at Ballynure on 23 Nov 2014. This sea of tarmac will include the southbound offslip (left) and northbound onslip (right) for the main A57/A8 junction. It is hard to believe that two years ago the ground level here was the height of the camera - the utility pipes suspended in mid-air showing the route of the original A57 which has now been completely removed! [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 9: The view south-west (towards Belfast) along the Ballynure Bypass stretch from Lismenary Road overbridge on 23 Nov 2014, showing the first courses of tarmac laid and the central crash barrier being installed. Nature is already reclaiming the earth banks on the left and right in this cutting. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 10: Another view of Lismenary Road bridge on 23 Nov 2014, with Belfast to the left and Larne to the right. This bridge opened to traffic on 29 August and carries a local road over the new dual-carriageway. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 11: View south-west (ie towards Belfast) along the future A8 at Ballybracken Road, north of Ballynure, on 23 Nov 2014. This bridge crosses over the future northbound onslip at this junction. The bridge appears to be complete with the new road now being built over it. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 12: View north-east along the line of the original A8 (visible on the bottom left) from near Ballybracken Road on 23 Nov 2014. You can see how the new road takes a much gentler sweep through the landscape here. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 13: View north-east towards the unopened Moss Road flyover over the A8 on 23 Nov 2014, taken from Ballygowan Road. The bridge appears largely complete with tarmac now being laid. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 14: View along the southbound onslip for the A8 (which runs under the bridge on the left) at Deerpark Road on 23 Nov 2014. Ahead is the roundabout serving the east side of the future Deerpark Road grade separated junction. The flyover ahead is well advanced but doesn't yet appear to be open to traffic. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 15: At the north end of the scheme, this is the south-eastern side of the future terminating roundabout as seen on 23 Nov 2014. Traffic is still going through the centre of the site, ie what will be the central circle of the roundabout. On the right is the route of the realigned Ballyrickard Road, which is not yet open to traffic. [Noel O'Rawe]

8 Sep 2014: Below are 15 great photos taken by Noel O'Rawe on 31 August (thank you, as always). They show that the scheme is progressing very well indeed. Starting at the south (Belfast) end, all traffic is now using the "Bruslee Bypass" stretch, while the old A8 is now lying almost devoid of traffic. Work is underway to divert the south end of this old road round a loop to meet the B84 Hillhead Road at a new T-junction, since access is still needed for local residents and landowners. Approaching Ballynure, the cutting that allows the new road to go under the new A57 bridge appears to be either completely excavated, or almost so, facilitated by the diversion of all A57 traffic onto the new bridge back in June. This change has opened up views through the underpass for the first time, letting us see how it will look when finished. It will be some time yet, however, before the underpass - and the "Ballynure Bypass" that this leads to - is opened to traffic, since a lot of work has still to take place on the north side of Ballynure to tie it in to the existing road. Lismenary Road, which crosses the new "Ballynure Bypass", is now using the new bridge allowing the rest of the cutting to be completed. If you appreciate civil engineering, I have to say that this stretch looks absolutely wonderful, curving gently into the distance. North of Ballynure, work on the Moss Road and Deerpark Road junctions is progressing well, although neither bridge is open. At the latter, the new roundabout serving the FP McCann quarry is now open and in use. Finally, at the very north end of the scheme, work to realign the A36 Shane's Hill Road is underway. It will be realigned slightly to the south of the current junction so that it meets the upgraded A8 at right-angles, via a new roundabout. The pictures below tell far more than a description can, so enjoy. I have included 15 photos, which is quite a lot but I could not bear to cut it down any further than this! As always, they're ordered from south to north. Work is scheduled to be completed around May, so we're now only about 8 months away from the end of the project.

Pic 1: View north-east along the future A8 from Coleman's Corner roundabout on 31 August 2014. All traffic is using the future southbound carriageway on the right, while the road bed for the future northbound carriageway takes shape ahead. The old A8, which was in use until a few weeks ago, goes off towards the left with the diggers parked on it. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 2: View south west along the old A8 on 31 August 2014, towards Coleman's Corner roundabout. This bit of road was in use until a few weeks ago. Work has now begun to divert this road to the right round a pair of loops to meet the Hillhead Road at a new T-junction, in order to give access to local residents who will still use this old stretch of road. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 3: View north-east along the A8 on 31 August 2014, from near Glen Road (visible on the left). This is taken from the old A8, which is now inaccessible from this end due to the "Bruslee Bypass" stretch being open (to the right of this shot). The odd arrangement of kerbstones just ahead is for a future northbound layby. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 4: View along Green Road on 31 August 2014 towards the A8, which runs left-right in the distance. You can see the new Green Road/Calhame Road flyover in the distance. Work has begun to divert Green Road up onto the new flyover, instead of going straight ahead as it used to. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 5: View north-east along the A8 from the new flyover for the Green Road/Calhame Road grade separated junction on 31 August 2014. All traffic here is using the future northbound carriageway, which has been kitted out with right-turn pockets for the time being, while the southbound carriageway on the right is very advanced with surfacing now going down. Note the difference in elevation between the two carriageways. The expanse of tarmac to the left of the cones is for the future northbound onslip. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 6: View south along the old A8 from the existing roundabout at Ballynure on 31 August 2014. This stretch has been closed to traffic since the traffic was diverted onto the future southbound offslip in mid July (see previous update below for details). This bit is now being rebuilt to become the access point for the northbound sliproads, and it will also involve adding an additional local access road to the left to give access to landowners. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 7: At Ballynure, this is the new A57 bridge with the earth that carried the old road now completely removed on the right, except it seems for the utilities which remained rather hilariously suspended in mid air on 31 August 2014! [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 8: View north-east along the Ballynure Bypass on 31 August 2014, which is very well advanced with surfacing down and safety fences being fitted in both the central reservation and on the left. I'm not sure what the "kink" in the left-hand safety barrier is, but it is adjacent to an attenuation pond, for collecting rainwater that has run off the road, so it may be to allow parking for maintenance vehicles. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 9: View north-east along the "Ballynure Bypass" from Lismenary Road bridge on 31 August 2014. This is an absolutely spectacular view of the road formation here, with a farm accommodation overbridge visible in the distance. The amount of material that has been excavated here is incredible. The white sheets and gravel form part of the road drainage system. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 10: The completed Lismenary Road bridge in use on 31 August 2014. The previous picture was taken from this bridge. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 11: At Ballybracken Road, where the "Ballynure Bypass" rejoins the line of the existing A8, all traffic is being diverted down the future sliproad onto this roundabout while the A8 itself is closed behind to put in an underpass to carry another sliproad. Seen here on 31 August 2014, the new bridge seems to have its beams in place. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 12: Moss Road flyover, over the A8, as seen looking west from Ballygowan Road on 31 August 2014. Although well advanced, the road is not completed over it and it is not yet open to traffic. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 13: Deerpark Road flyover seen looking east from Deerpark Road on 31 August 2014. The C-shaped road (that runs from the right, to the left, and back to the right again) is the future northbound offslip from the A8. The commercial buildings on the right are part of the FP McCann quarry on the far side of the A8, which will also be accessed via this junction. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 14: View south west along the line of the new A8 from near Deerpark Road flyover on 31 August 2014. At this point the new A8 swings away from the line of the old road (seen on the right) for a short distance to take the corner more gently. This illustrates just how much larger and higher-spec the new road is than the old road. Note the angle of the carriageway on the left (the "superelevation") which is designed to allow vehicles to corner more safely, and which also requires the drains to be placed adjacent to the central reservation here. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 15: Earthworks underway to clear the site of the future roundabout for the A36 Shane's Hill Road junction at the north end of the scheme on 31 August 2014. Both Shane's Hill Road and the B100 Ballyrickard Road are currently being realigned to meet this roundabout. [Noel O'Rawe]

25 Jul 2014: This update is to draw your attention to two bits of information that have been released by the contractor and Roads Service (or "TransportNI" as it is now called). First of all, the contractor Lagan Ferrovial Costain has published the third of its newsletters on the scheme. You can download the newsletter directly, or see previous editions on their web site. It contains some very interesting photographs, as well as giving the "insider story" on progress to date. Secondly, an incredible video appeared on YouTube about a month ago. It consists of a slow aerial movie of the entire A8 scheme, from south to north, taken by a drone. It appears to have been posted up by the drone's owners, Geospon, but bears the Roads Service brand so is presumably official. The whole video is about 50 minutes long, and you can see literally every inch of the site. Well worth a watch.

14 Jul 2014: Over the past week some interesting changes have taken place on the A8. Firstly, at Ballynure, all traffic on the A8 is being diverted up what will be the future northbound offslip, down a short length of the A57 and back onto the A8. The map below will hopefully make this clearer. The existing road network is shown in Brown, with the future dual-carriageway and associated sliproads in red. There will eventually be a full-access junction here, but for now all traffic is following the route of the green dotted line, presumably to allow work to take place on the remaining junction and to tie the new A8 into the existing A8.

Secondly, at Bruslee all southbound (ie, Belfast-bound) traffic has been diverted onto the new "Bruslee Bypass" section at the south end of the scheme. Northbound traffic is still on the old road, but presumably it too will be diverted in due course. So as of this moment, almost all of the section between Ballynure and Coleman's Corner (south end of the scheme) has traffic running on "new" sections of road. Work has now been underway for almost two years, and completion is now less than a year away, so it's great that we are seeing so much progress. With thanks to Noel O'Rawe and Andy Boal for the "from the scene" updates!

25 Jun 2014: Here are 11 more photos, taken about ten days ago by Noel O'Rawe (thank you). At the south end of the scheme (Coleman's Corner roundabout) the long anticipated transfer of traffic onto the new section of the A8 bypassing Bruslee can't be far off as it's now been tied in to (ie, tarmacked right up to ) the existing roundabout. North of Bruslee all traffic is now using the completed northbound carriageway while work is underway on the southbound carriageway. the Green Road/Calhame Road grade separated junction appears to be largely completed, although the bridge is not yet open to vehicles. At Ballynure, northbound traffic on the A57 has finally been switched onto the new bridge that has been under construction here for some time. Presumably southbound traffic will also move over in due course. Construction of the sliproads and associated second roundabout here is also progressing well. On the Ballynure Bypass stretch work continues, with the Lismenary Road bridge still under construction. Lismenary Road itself is currently closed to traffic so it's not currently possible to get right up to the site. At the north end of Ballynure, where the Bypass stretch rejoins the existing A8, all traffic is now being diverted down what will be the sliproads to the roundabout that has now been completed (in the huge pit that was excavated last year). Part of the existing A8 beside the roundabout has been completely removed to allow construction of the bridge that will carry it over the northbound sliproad, with the columns already taking shape. Large scale earthworks are underway along the north end of the scheme, especially around Moss Road where the work mostly involves new embankments. Finally, at the north end of the scheme near Ballyrickard Road, work is underway on the future Larne bound carriageway and more earthworks are underway at the site of the future roundabout that will mark the northern terminus of the scheme.

Pic 1: View towards Coleman's Corner rounddabout on 15 June 2014 showing the existing A8 on the right and the start of the "Bruslee Bypass" stretch of the new A8 on the left, which is very advanced but not yet open. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 2: Near Legaloy Road, looking south towards where the "Bruslee Bypass" stretch of the new road rejoins the line of the existing A8 on the right 15 June 2014, which looks as if it will shortly be tied in to the existing road and perhaps opened. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 3: View north east from the (not yet opened) flyover at the Green Road/Calhame Road grade separated junction on 15 June 2014. The northbound carriageway is completed and is being used by all traffic, while work on the southbound carriageway (on the right) is getting underway. The road on the left is the future northbound sliproad pair. Eventually this will have a large triangular traffic island, but to facilitate a temporary T-junction traffic currently passes through the centre of the island. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 4: View south west from Green Road/Calhame Road flyover, ie towards Belfast on 15 June 2014. Again, the northbound carriageway is completed and is being used by all traffic, while work on the southbound carriageway (on the left) is getting underway. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 5: View along the A57 from the existing A8 roundabout at Ballynure on 15 June 2014. The old A57 is on the left, while the new bridge is on the right, with northbound traffic only using it. Presumably all traffic will soon switch to the new bridge since the old road has to be removed to make way for a cutting. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 6: Moving further along the A57 this is the site of the new roundabout currently being built to serve the northbound sliproads at the western end of the new grade separated junction. Ballynure and the new bridge are behind the camera. 15 June 2014 [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 7: Closeup of the new A57 bridge now completed and in use by northbound traffic on 15 June 2014. This view is looking towards Ballynure. The old road is on the bank on the right, which will be completely removed to make way for the A8 which will run left-right here in a cutting. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 8: At Ballybracken Road, which marks the north end of the Ballynure Bypass stretch, this is the now-completed roundabout that has been built after a huge amount of excavation, seen on 15 June 2014. The photographer is on what will eventually be the main access road into Ballynure (which is behind the camera) from the north. The road straight ahead on the other side of the roundabout is the future southbound offslip from the A8, which will run to the left of the shot here. The road signed "works traffic only" (not visible) will be the future northbound onslip, which will pass under the A8 via a bridge. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 9: Going ahead to the same roundabout visible in Pic 8, but looking to the left, this is the view along what will be the northbound onslip. The existing A8 used to pass left-right here but had been removed when this shot was taken on 15 June 2014. Work is now underway on the pillars for the bridge that will carry the reconstructed A8 over the sliproad. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 10: The Moss Road bridge, seen looking south west on 15 June 2014. All traffic is on the completed northbound carriageway (on the right), while the southbound carriageway is constructed on the left. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 11: Excavation work on the embankments near Ballyrickard Road, as seen on 15 June 2014, nicely finished. [Noel O'Rawe]

6 May 2014: The 13 pictures below were taken by Noel O'Rawe (thank you) about two weeks ago. Work is coming along at a great pace, with traffic now transferred across to the new sections of road in more than one place, most notably around the Moss Road junction. The new bridge to carry the A57 over the future road looked close to being ready to carry traffic at the point Noel took these pictures, and may even be doing so by now. The pictures below are arranged in order starting at the south (Belfast) end of the scheme.

Pic 1: Looking south west towards the existing oleman's Corner roundabout from Lisglass Road on 20 Apr 2014. This stretch is near completion, but has still not opened to traffic. I'd expect southbound traffic to move onto it initially. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 2: View north east towards Larne from Glen Road on 20 Apr 2014, All traffic has now been diverted onto the new northbound carriageway for a short distance, with the old bit of A8 now lying empty on the right. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 3: On Green Road, the diversion onto the new flyover was getting close to the tarmacing stage on 20 Apr 2014. The bit of Green Road on the right will be retained for local access, but as a cul-de-sac. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 4: View of the Green Road flyover as seen from Calhame Road on 20 Apr 2014. The new link road connecting Calhame Road to the new junction is taking shape with signage in place, along with an enormous quantity of safety barrier. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 5: A new view of the offline section of the A8 as it approaches the A57 Templepatrick Road (running left-right across the screen in the middle distance) on 20 Apr 2014. On the left is the connecting road that will link to the northbound sliproads. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 6: The same link road visible in pic 5, but this time seen from the other end, on the A57 Templepatrick Road on 20 Apr 2014. The photographer is standing in the middle of what will be a new roundabout on the A57 (which runs left-right beside the photographer). Larne-bound traffic wishing to access the A8 will use the sliproad ahead when the road is completed. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 7: The new A57 bridge was not carrying traffic on 20 Apr 2014, despite suggestions that it would have come into use by then. I am not sure if it is in use at the time of writing (6 May). Once opened, the existing road on the left will be removed. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 8: Church Road near Ballynure was finally open to traffic when Noel visited on 20 Apr 2014, with the new bridge now in place above. Church Road itself crosses over the Ballynure Water just beyond the flyover - a kind of 'double bridge' effect. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 9: Looking east along Ballybracken Road from the existing A8 on 20 Apr 2014. The local road network seen here is being constructed below ground level. This new roundabout will provide access to north-facing sliproads from the A8 (left) and to the A8 (under the photographer). The road to the right will lead into Ballynure on the route of the current A8, which will become a local road. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 10: The bridge that will carry Lismenary Road over the A8 on the Ballynure Bypass section finally had its beams in place on 20 Apr 2014, as seen from the existing Lismenary Road. The A8 is in a huge cutting here. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 11: Looking north from Ballygowan Road towards the Moss Road flyover on 20 Apr 2014. All traffic is now using the future northbound carriageway, and the old A8 now lies quietly on the right, awaiting reconstruction as the southbound carriageway. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 12: Looking at the same stretch of road as pic 11, but from the opposite end at Moss Road flyover on 20 Apr 2014. You can see how much higher the new road is than the old road. This is to smooth out the vertical undulations. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 13: Finally, the A8 between Ballygowan Road and Deerpark Road on 20 Apr 2014. The new road swings offline to the right here in order to take the left turn more gently than the current road does. The bit of road in the foreground is a temporary diversion though what was previously a field. [Noel O'Rawe]

4 Apr 2014: The DRD Minister visited the works site yesterday. The most significant news is that the new bridge that will carry the A57 Templepatrick Road over the new A8 at Ballynure will open to one-way traffic (presumably northbound) "within the next few days" and then to all traffic following further alterations to realign the A57. At this point the old A57 will close and be removed to make way for a cutting. This will complete the cutting that already exists to the south of the A57 and will really open up the view of how the route of the A8 will eventually look. The bridge itself cost £930,000 according to this press release which also gives some interesting facts about the amount of work done to date, and details some awards that have been won by the contractor Lagan Ferrovial Costain. Congratulations to everyone working on the scheme. Cesar Sierra, Project Manager for Lagan Ferrovial Costain (LFC), said: “We are very proud of these achievements, and believe that it serves as recognition for the hard work and determination that LFC have shown in trying to improve the image of the construction industry, and enhance its own standards”. The minutes of a meeting held on 26 Feb 2014 say that the project is currently due to be completed by May 2015.

16 Mar 2014: The 13 pictures below were taken two weeks ago by Noel O'Rawe (thank you) but due to illness I have just been able to put them up tonight. Progress is very impressive, and with the longer days and better weather on the way, we can expect a very productive summer ahead. Completion is now only 12 14 months away so the next few months should start to see some sections of the road starting to look almost complete. The pictures below are arranged in order starting at the south (Belfast) end of the scheme.

Pic 1: At Coleman's Corner, one lane of the existing southbound A8 had been closed and its tarmac ripped up on 2 Mar 2014, presumably to facilitate the tying-in of the new dual-carriageway (visible ahead) to the existing roundabout. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 2: The view east along Green Road on 2 Mar 2014, towards the A8 - you can see the new bridge ahead. Green Road is being diverted up onto the new embankment on the left to climb up and over the bridge. The existing road on the right will be retained as a cul-de-sac to maintain access to private properties. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 3: The view south along the A8 towards the Green Road/Calhame Road grade separated junction on 2 Mar 2014. On the right is a 90° loop that forms the future northbound offslip and onslip. All traffic is on the original A8, which still runs on the left. Presumably all traffic will soon be transferred to the new northbound carriageway on the right while the southbound carriageway is rebuilt. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 4: Moving to Ballynure, this is the view north-east along the A57 where work on a new roundabout had begun on 2 Mar 2014. This new roundabout will connect the northbound sliproads from the A8 to the A57. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 5: This is the view south from the A57 where the dual-carriageway from the Belfast direction is taking shape. This is requiring the excavation of a huge cutting, not only for the road itself, but for the two pairs of sliproads, one of which is visible on the right here. The cuttings are much larger than may first appear to be necessary due to the need to provide adequate slightlines round the corners. 2 Mar 2014 [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 6: This is the new bridge that will carry the A57 over the new A8, which looked basically finished on 2 Mar 2014. Work seems to be underway on the approaches to the bridge, at which point the road will be diverted onto it to allow the existing A57 (on the left) to be removed. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 7: At Church Road, here seen looking east on 2 Mar 2014, the beams have now been lifted into place to carry the future A8. Hopefully Church Road beneath it here will be reopened soon. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 8: Work on the bridge that will carry Lismenary Road over the A8 Ballynure Bypass section of the new road progressing very well on 2 Mar 2014. It looks as if this bridge could receive its beams in the not-too-distant future. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 9: North of Ballynure work has resumed on the Ballybracken Road grade separated junction which is where the new Ballynure Bypass stretch rejoins the line of the existing A8. This is the future route of the current A8, which will be retained as a local road into Ballynure but will be diverted down and to the right as part of the new junction design. Seen on 2 Mar 2014. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 10: This huge cutting, which was made last year but not progressed much over the winter, carries local roads for the Ballybracken Road grade separated junction, here seen on 2 Mar 2014. This appears to be a roundabout, which is different from the design documents seen at the public inquiry which envisaged a staggered cross-roads here instead. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 11: Moss Road flyover, seen on 2 Mar 2014 looking south east from Moss Road itself. The future line of Moss Road is very well advanced to the left. The t-junction visible on the left of the shot provides access to private property which hitherto fronted onto the A8 itself. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 12: Closeup of Deerpark Road flyover on 2 Mar 2014 which is looking very advanced. [Noel O'Rawe]

Pic 13: At the northern end of the scheme, this is the new road under construction not far from Ballyrickard Road on 2 Mar 2014. As in most locations, the existing A8 is being upgraded at this point. [Noel O'Rawe]


Note on Costs

In 2007 the Irish government offered £400m to the Northern Ireland Executive to be used for the upgrade of the A5 between the Irish border near Aughnacloy and Londonderry, and the A8 between Newtownabbey and Larne. In July 2007 the Executive accepted the funding. In November 2007 the Executive announced that they would proceed with both schemes. Although the Irish government's contribution is intended to help with both schemes, it has been agreed for simplicity that the money will be applied to the A5 project only.


Bruslee hamlet straddles the A8. Here seem looking towards Belfast in 2006. If the road protection corridor is used (and it may not) the widening would be on the far side of the road. [Wesley Johnston]

The A8 climbing towards Belfast from Ballynure, seen in 2004. A climbing lane has since been added here. [Wesley Johnston]


The Ballynure Southern Link road opened in 2005 to allow vehicles heading to Carrickfergus from the A8 to bypass the village centre - will it be upgraded as part of this proposed scheme and become part of the A8? [Wesley Johnston]