Belfast Telegraph

Somague and parent company win £220m contract on major A6 project

By Margaret Canning

The Portuguese firm at the centre of the delayed Ulster University site in Belfast and its parent company have won a £220m contract on one of Northern Ireland's biggest road schemes.

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Somague is part of a consortium with Wills Bros and Sacyr which will work on the latest stage of the dualling of the A6.

The firm has been part of a joint venture contract to build the new Ulster University campus in Belfast city centre.

But work has been mothballed since Lagan Construction Group announced it was putting four of its firms into administration.

However, Somague's win of another major contract in Northern Ireland is expected to increase the likelihood of it carrying out more work on the Ulster University site.

It's understood a company within Lagan Construction Group had also been in line for the A6 deal.

Somague, Dublin-based Wills Bros and Spanish firm Sacyr - also Somague's parent company - will soon start work on dualling the road between Drumahoe and Dungiven, which will include a bypass of Dungiven.

The A6 scheme is one of the biggest roads projects ever taken on in Northern Ireland.

Somague's successful bid was first revealed in Business Telegraph on Tuesday.

The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) announced the successful bid yesterday and described it as "a major milestone in the delivery of this NI Executive Flagship project".

"The 25.5km scheme represents an investment in the region of £220m, including land acquisition," the department said.

"The project will construct a high standard dual carriageway between Drumahoe and Dungiven, including a bypass of Dungiven, with roundabouts connecting the scheme to the existing road network at either end.

"The A6 is a strategically important route as it connects the north west to Belfast and beyond.

"The existing road carries around 15,000 vehicles per day and with traffic levels continuing to grow, this very significant investment will greatly improve road safety and journey times by reducing congestion."

The Department for Infrastructure said that the work would also bring economic benefits.

"The construction of this road will help to secure jobs in the construction industry, contribute to the economic development of the region and bring long term benefits to road users and local communities," it added.

Work is due to start over the next few weeks and will take four years to complete.

Belfast Telegraph