Client: Ireland Department for Regional Development and DOE Roads Service
Location: County Antrim, Northern Ireland
The village of Toome is situated immediately to the north of Lough Neagh, Ireland's largest inland waterbody, and is on the strategic A6 route joining Belfast and Derry. This £18 million major scheme provides a dual carriage-way by-pass for the village. A prominent feature is ‘The Toome Bridge’, which has a 99 metre span arching over the Lower River Bann. and which is now a landmark structure in Northern Ireland,
Our involvement has been to carry forward the suite of mitigation measures identified in the Environmental Statement.
These measures have been integrated into our landscape design scheme and aim to protect the Lower River Bann and Lough Neagh RAMSAR and ASSI ecological interests. Prior to completion of the design we co-ordinated ecological surveys for protected species: badgers, bats, invertebrates, otters and local and migratory birds and subsequently prepared an environmental management plan to ensure protection of the natural environment during construction. Essential protection measures such as badger fencing and tunnels were incorporated into the landscape design. We have also carried out water quality monitoring throughout the construction phases.
Important features of the design of the road included the development of a sustainable urban drainage system for run-off from the road into a series of swales and ditches planted with local provenance wetland grass species; a single span bridge to minimise disturbance to the riverbed and the use of local provenance plant material specially contract grown from seeds collected within a 10km radius from the site.