No funds, but bypass plans still on course!


Enniskillen gridlock

PLANS for the long-awaited Enniskillen bypass are progressing at a steady pace, and while the £35 million needed for the project is yet to be secured, it is hoped as soon as it is the project will move along quickly. 
Last week the Department of Infrastructure published an environmental “notice of determination” regarding the plans, while on Monday the Department confirmed to the Herald work would soon begin on an archaeological investigations along the route. 
“The Department and it’s consultants have been developing the design and preparing the necessary Draft Orders and Environmental Statement,” said a Department spokesman. 
“This work is well progressed and it is currently proposed to publish the Environmental Statement and Draft Orders in autumn 2017. This will allow the statutory consultation to be carried out and hopefully leave the project in a position for vesting and procurement to take place when funding is made available. 
“Consultations with affected land owners on the details of the accommodation works are ongoing.”
The spokesman added the Department had determined the project should be subject to an environmental impact assessment, and last week published this decision, with work on the impact assessment and associated environmental statement ongoing for the last year. 
“The Department has recently completed more detailed ground investigation works, including tests in the river bed for the proposed new bridge and will shortly commence on archaeological investigations along the proposed line of the route,” they continued. 
“Subsequent progression of the project to construction stage, estimated to cost £35 million, will be dependent on the successful outcome to the statutory procedures process and the availability of finance.”
Development of the route of the A4 Enniskillen Southern Bypass, as it’s officially known, began in 2009, with the announcement of the preferred alignment being announced in June 2015. The project will require the construction of approximately 2km of single carriageway from the A4 Belfast Road, near the Killyhevlin Hotel, to the A509 Derrylin Road, about 350m south of the junction with the A4 Belcoo road.
Bridges over the rivers Erne and Sillees will required for the project, which will also feature “differential acceleration lanes”, which is a “2+1” carriageway. 
It is anticipated the bypass will remove approximately 40 percent of the traffic from the town centre, with the aim of reducing the current congestion. 

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