St Patrick's Barracks Link Road, Ballymena

 

Status
Construction scheme (current)
Scheme
New single-carriageway link road connecting the A42 Broughshane Road to the A26 Larne Road, Ballymena.
Total Length
2.3 km / 1.4 miles (of which 1.4 km / 0.9 miles is entirely new road and the remainder uses existing roads)
Dates

2007 - Ministry of Defence deem St Patrick's Barracks to be surplus

2011 - Land handed over to NI Executive
25 Nov 2016 - Draft St Patrick's Barracks Masterplan published
Oct 2017 - Demolition of existing barracks began
Dec 2019 - Due to go out to tender (as of Dec 2018)

Late Feb 2020 - Site clearance work began at both ends of the scheme
Contruction to take 12 months

Cost

4-6m

See Also

Draft St Patrick's Barracks Masterplan - DFC

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

St Patrick's Barracks in Ballymena was originally occupied by the Army but has lain empty since 2011. The site contains a large area of land close to Ballymena town centre and its development has been the subject of a masterplan produced by the Department for Communities and Mid and East Antrim Council. The component of the plan that interests us is the proposed new link road that will traverse the site connecting the A26 Larne Road to the south with the A42 Broughshane Road to the north. The new road will be 2.3 km long, of which 0.9 km is a re-use of sections of existing road and 1.4 km of which is entirely new road. The map below shows the proposed route. The red line shows the entirely new part of the road while the yellow lines show existing roads that will be re-used. The green lines show other external road links that are planned for the site, but which technically aren't part of the St Patrick's Barracks Link Road.

Updates

27 Feb 2020: Planning permission was granted for the scheme back in March 2019, and site clearance works seem to have got underway in the past couple of weeks at both ends of the scheme. As this work involves tree-felling it is important that it takes place ahead of the bird nesting season. The photos below are all by Ian Hunter (thank you) who also alerted me to the fact that work is underway. I can't locate the tender for the scheme, but as it's being led by the Department for Communities rather than the Department for Infrastructure I may have just missed it. It's also not clear whether this site clearance is a separate contract, or whether work on the road itself will get underway shortly. Neverthless, I have now marked this scheme as underway.


Pic 1: This is the loop at the very northern end of the scheme (here), on what is currently the access road to the Ecos Centre, on 25 Feb 2020. Trees and brush have been removed here because the curve is being reduced in severity by going offline slightly, as shown in the map below. [Ian Hunter]

Pic 2: Map of the proposed route of the new road at the very northern end. The picture above was taken from roughly the top left end of the red area. You can see how the intention is for the new road to take a less tortuous bend round this curve [DFC map].

Pic 3: At the southern end of the scheme, this is site clearance work underway in the grounds of Castle Tower School (here) on 25 Feb 2020, looking north. Its existing boundary is on the right, and the new boundary is the wooden fence being built on the left. This part of the road is a new-build, though it extends and upgrades the existing access road to the school behind the camera. [Ian Hunter]

Pic 4: Continuing foward into the view in pic 3, and then turning round to look back south again with the school behind the fence on the right. The building in the distance is the cinema. The works here unfortunately involve felling a number of mature trees (here), which has now been completed, while the woodland on the left remains intact. The new road will run along the line visible here. 25 Feb 2020. [Ian Hunter]

27 Dec 2018: The ISNI web site had indicated that this scheme would go out to tender in autumn 2018 but that did not happen, probably because of the interregnum at Stormont. The site has now been updated to state that the scheme will go out to tender in December 2019 with construction then due to take place between March 2020 and March 2021. It should be noted that this, too, is probably contingent on a return to Stormont so I would not regard it has a particularly meaningful timescale at this point. The scheme also seems to be broken down into two components - the "northern link road", connecing to the A42, and the "southern link road", connecting to the A26. It is possible therefore that the link road may be constructed in phases.