Officially opened in February by Northern Ireland’s Minister for Regional Development Danny Kennedy, MLA, AECOM’s highways team in Belfast led the successful early delivery of the £7.3 million (€8.5 million) A32 Shannaragh Realignment highway scheme on the outskirts of Omagh.

The A32 forms part of the trunk road network of Northern Ireland and provides a vital link between the towns of Omagh and Enniskillen. The A32 Shannaragh Realignment Project is the largest scheme in an overall A32 improvement strategy, which aims to improve overtaking opportunities, reduce journey times and offer improved road safety along the route.

Opening the new section of the A32 Danny Kennedy said: “I am very impressed with the standard of the finished scheme, even more so, that as a result of excellent project management between Roads Service and AECOM, this significant project was delivered four month ahead of schedule.”

AECOM’s Belfast team provided engineering and environmental design services from the preliminary stages of route selection through to detailed design and procurement. AECOM then delivered contract management and site supervision services during the construction phase of the works.

The scheme, funded by Department for Regional Development’s Roads Service, comprised 2.2 kilometres of off-line and on-line highway realignment works, side road and junction realignment, construction of two culverts and replacement of the existing 22-metre span Shannaragh Bridge.

Overcoming challenges
The project faced many challenges during the design and construction phases to overcome issues such as the removal and replacement of a 9-metre deep peat bog. Other constraints included protection of the flood plain and a suspected “Rath” (circular fortified settlement or ringfort) site.

Archaeological finds uncovered during the early stages of construction were well managed by AECOM’s site team and, despite significant finds from the Mesolithic and Bronze ages, no delays were encountered while archaeological investigations and excavations were carried out. AECOM’s services were vital to the successful delivery of the scheme under a fast tracked design and construction programme.