The Department of Infrastructure has said that the closure of the A36 between Ballymena and Larne is “unavoidable” to allow essential works to be carried out to prevent the “catastrophic failure of the road”.
Motorists using one of the district’s busiests routes will be in for two months of disruption due to the road works getting underway on March 12 for a period of eight weeks.
The road closure is to facilitate essential maintenance of Lynn’s Bridge at Glenwherry.
TTraffic travelling between Larne and Ballymena will be diverted via the A8, M2 and A26 during the road closure.
A Department for Infrastructure spokesperson said: “In the interest of road safety the A36 Church Road between Larne and Ballymena, at Glenwherry will be closed for a period of eight weeks from Monday, March 12.
“This is to allow structural improvement works to be carried out on the embankment supporting the road at Lynn’s Bridge.”
The work to be carried out includes driving piles, constructing a retaining structure, erecting vehicle restraint barriers, rebuilding a parapet wall, along with road resurfacing.
“Due to the size of the equipment required for this work and the width of the road, a full road closure is necessary and completely unavoidable,” the spokesperson said.
Variable message signs have been erected, a letter drop will be carried out and advertisements will be placed in the local press next week,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added: “The Department understands that this closure will cause traffic disruption, however this work is unavoidable as there is the potential for future erosion of the embankment to cause a catastrophic failure of the road.
“The work has been programmed to ensure that it is opened by early May before the North West 200 race event.”
The signed diversionary route will be as follows: for motorway traffic a diversion will be signposted via A26 - Ballee Roundabout - A26 Lisnevenagh Road - Dunsilly Roundabout - M2 Motorway – Exit Junction 5 onto A57 - A8 - then follow permanent traffic signs for Larne, and vice versa.
For non-motorway traffic a diversion will be signposted via Dunsilly Roundabout - A26 Dublin Road - A6 Belmont Road - A26 Belfast Road - A6 Antrim Road - A57 Ballyclare Road - A8 - then follow permanent traffic signs for Larne, and vice versa.