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M2 Link to A26 Ballee Road East, Ballymena - PDF

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					4 The Proposed Scheme
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Faber Maunsell   Northern Key Transport Corridor Improvements: M2 Link to A26 Ballee Road East                    24




4                The Proposed Scheme

4.1              Introduction
                 The improvement being considered would provide a dual 2-lane All Purpose (D2AP) standard
                 dual carriageway underneath the Larne Road Roundabout to provide a direct connection
                 between the Ballymena Bypass and Ballee Road East. Two bridges constructed as part of the
                 Larne Road Roundabout were aligned to allow the bypass to connect to the M2 at Antrim; this
                 aspiration was subsequently superseded by the construction of the Antrim to Ballymena dual
                 carriageway. Whilst the alignment of the bridges is not conducive to the current proposal, the
                 inclusion of both bridges in the M2/A26 Link is essential if the scheme is to be economically
                 viable.
                 Having accepted the constraints imposed by the existing Larne Road Roundabout underbridges
                 and defined the terminal point of the alignment as the Ballee Road East to the east of the Ballee
                 Roundabout (Seven Towers Roundabout), only one viable route corridor exists.

4.2              Scheme Layout
                 The proposed M2/A26 Link continues south from the existing merge and diverge slip roads
                 lying to the north of the Larne Road Roundabout, underneath the bridges originally built for the
                 future extension of the motorway. The route then curves sharply to the right to merge with
                 Ballee Road East at Ballee Roundabout. The proposed layout is illustrated on Figure 4.1 with
                 the existing layout and aerial photograph of the corresponding area shown on Figures 2.1and
                 2.2.
                 New merge and diverge slip roads constructed on the south side of the existing “half diamond”
                 interchange at Larne Road Roundabout will provide access to and from the proposed link.
                 West of the new link, the bypassed part of Ballee Road east would retain its connection with the
                 Larne Road Roundabout and would continue to service Pennybridge Industrial Estate: it may
                 also offer possible future access to lands south west of Pennybridge Industrial Estate which are
                 zoned for industry and housing.
                 The redundant northbound lane of Ballee Road East was considered as an off-slip from the
                 proposed link road to the Larne Road Roundabout. This was rejected because of possible
                 conflict between slow moving traffic accessing Pennybridge Industrial estate and fast moving
                 traffic, diverging from the proposed link road.
                 Bridging the Liminary Road over the proposed link road was considered, as this would have
                 maintained the Liminary Road connection to the redundant part of Ballee Road East. This was
                 rejected because of unacceptable geometry and possible demolition of property on the Liminary
                 Road.
                 East of the new link road, the Liminary Road from Kells would be realigned to connect directly
                 to the Larne Road Roundabout. The design speed of the realigned part of the Liminary Road
                 would be selected to complement the adjacent section of the Liminary Road.
                 Gaps in the central reserve on Ballee Road East will be closed and replaced by a single gap
                 incorporating a ‘u-turn’ facility to maintain access to several properties along the south east of
                 the dual carriageway.
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Description: M2 Link to A26 Ballee Road East, Ballymena