Director - Highways, Civil and Transportation
An RPS-led consortium (RPS-Sweco) is carrying out a TD37/93 Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) Stage 3 Assessment to identify the environmental, engineering, economic, safety and traffic advantages, disadvantages and constraints of the preferred option for the A1 Junctions Phase 2 Project. The project is a safety-driven scheme to upgrade a 25.2km stretch of existing Category 5 dual carriageway which has undesirable characteristics such as a significant number of at-grade crossings and access points onto the carriageway, sections of poor horizontal alignment, vertical alignment, visibility and narrow central reserve.
The A1 is classified as a Key Transport Corridor linking Belfast and Dublin. It also acts as the key link between the towns and villages that lie within the corridor. As such it is considered to have economic and social importance both regionally and locally.
The nature of the project is distinctive in that it involves the upgrade of an existing dual carriageway over 25.2km, which involves the removal of over 100 central reserve crossing points and provision of additional grade-separation to cater for cross-carriageway movements.
As a result, almost everybody living along the route or using this route will be affected to some degree, from landtake impacts to detours. Identifying and trying to mitigate impacts for different users has been a challenge.
From the outset, RPS-Sweco sought to engage with all parties along the route to ensure that they are fully aware of the scheme proposals and to offer them an opportunity to engage in the development process.
RPS organised and convened two Community Consultation Events during the Stage 3 Assessment process to afford appropriate opportunity for all affected members of the public to provide feedback on current design proposals. In advance of the Consultation Events, approx. 20,000 information leaflets were dropped to all properties along the affected route. Letters were issued to statutory bodies, landowners affected by the proposals and members of the public who had previously made representation. Each Consultation Event was held at three separate venues on different days to accommodate people along the length of the route. These events proved very useful in highlighting particular concerns raised and allowed RPS-Sweco to consider these and mitigate where necessary through the design process.
RPS-Sweco also engaged on an ongoing basis throughout the Stage 3 process with all affected landowners and anybody wishing to discuss development proposals.
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