Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard yesterday (Wednesday) met with senior officials from five councils - including Mid Ulster - to reaffirm his commitment to delivering the A5 Western Transport Corridor.
The Executive led scheme aims to provide 85 kilometres (55 miles) of dual carriageway from New Building, south of Derry to south of Aughnacloy.
Representatives from Mid Ulster, Omagh, Fermanagh, Derry, Strabane, Donegal and Monaghan councils met with the minister at Stormont.
Speaking after the meeting, Chris Hazzard said: "I am encouraged by the commitment and support for the A5 transport corridor shown by Derry and Strabane, Fermanagh and Omagh, Mid Ulster, Donegal and Monaghan Councils.
"One of my key priorities as Minister for Infrastructure is to remedy the North’s infrastructure deficit - particularly west of the Bann.
"The A5 transport corridor will provide a high quality road link between Derry, Strabane, Omagh and Ballygawley; it will unlock the potential for future economic development of these areas, including Counties Donegal and Monaghan (and) create immediate employment with over 1,000 jobs for the construction industry.
"The A5 scheme will underpin the economic and social development of the North West. I am currently engaging with departmental officials to explore options to maximise delivery of the A5 and also want to engage with the Irish Government to ensure that they are key partners in the delivery of this project."
The Public Inquiry into the scheme, which is being administered by the Planning Appeals Commission, is ongoing.
Subject to the successful completion of all the statutory procedures and a satisfactory outcome from the Inspector’s Report, it is anticipated that construction can commence in late 2017 on Phase 1A in line with the Fresh Start Agreement