A dual carriageway project connecting Londonderry to the city’s airport has been officially opened following almost two years of roadworks.
Roads Minister Conor Murphy yesterday cut the ribbon on the £45m A2 Maydown to City of Derry Airport scheme following an inspection of the route.
The scheme involved upgrading 6.6km of roadway to dual carriageway.
The road includes three new roundabouts located at intersections at Campsie, Broadbridge and the airport itself.
Speaking at the opening, Mr Murphy said: “The completion of this project is an important step forward for the people of the north west.
“The new dual carriageway will help ease congestion, resulting |in improved safety and journey times for traffic travelling on this route.
“Since taking up office in May 2007, I have been committed to delivering balanced regional infrastructure, tackling regional disparities and reversing decades of under-investment in the north west.
“The improvement of this road to dual carriageway standard is a further example of my commitment to improving infrastructure in Derry and the north west, in line with the Executive’s priorities, to allow this region to maximise and realise its full economic potential.”
The A2 is part of the Northern Key Transport Corridor, the main road connecting Limavady to Derry and provides links to the Maydown and Campsie industrial zones as well as the airport.
A number of highly-significant archaeological discoveries were made during the works.
Eight neolithic sites where unearthed, some more than 5,000 years old.
These included the remains of a pair of 5,000-year-old neolithic habitations and 4,000-year-old Bronze Age burial places, known as ‘ring-ditches'.
Bronze Age pottery, flint tools and human bones were also discovered.
Archaeologists worked for a number of months to carefully excavate and record the remains of the discovery.
The road scheme was partly funded through a contribution of £4.5m from the Integrated Development Fund (IDF).