The chair of Mid Ulster District Council has commended the Transport Minister’s decision to invest £350,000 in major improvements to the A29, including a new turning lane near the Desertcreat site.
Work on the road, which runs between Cookstown and Dungannon, will see it undergo changes to improve safety at various junctions, as well as resurfacing.
Funding for the improvements is to come from the capital budget for major projects and new road schemes and will be less affected by current monetary pressures, according to the Department of Regional Development (DRD).
Due to start on February 16 at the junctions of Annagh Road, Desertcreat Road and Tullyard road, the work is due to be finished by mid April.
However DRD has said these dates “are subject to favourable weather conditions”.
“I am delighted to hear news that Transport NI will spend £350,000 on road improvements on the A29 between Cookstown and Dungannon,” said Sinn Fein’s Cathal Mallaghan.
“The extra turning lanes and resurfacing will greatly reduce the risk of accidents and is timely infrastructure for the programme for government commitment to building the Community Safety College at Desertcreat.
“This announcement follows a £400,000 investment in Roads in the Cookstown district earlier this week which includes Sandholes, Dunamore and Ardboe.
“I’d like to thank Francie Molloy MP for his assistance in lobbying the minister for these much needed improvements and again highlight the further deterioration of the Cavanakeeran Rd on the B4 in Pomeroy as an area needing high priority.”
Mid Ulster councillor Mark Glasgow has also praised the move.
“I welcome the brilliant news from Minister Kennedy’s department that a large amount of investment is being put into the A29 - Dungannon Road, Cookstown,” UUP Cllr Mark Glasgow told the Mail.
“This is a vital road network as it leads to the M1, both allowing and encouraging future investment in the Cookstown area.
“Companies will see the excellent road network that we have in place in Cookstown and [hopefully] this will encourage them to establish their business in our high quality industrial estates, which are only a short distance from the Dungannon Road.
“Most importantly [the improvements] will allow motorists to remain safe on this road with the new right turn lanes.
“The Minister’s further announcement that resurfacing on the Sandholes Road towards Sandholes village will be carried out is also great news for the local residents and the businesses in the village.”
Minister Danny Kennedy also said: “This scheme will greatly improve the safety at the junctions and improve the strength and surface quality of the carriageway between Cookstown and Dungannon.
“A new footway will be included to provide a safe area for pedestrians as they access the bus stop.”
TransportNI said they have taken every precaution to minimise disruption, but it said some delays may be expected.