Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong has called on the Infrastructure Minister to clarify the status of the York Street interchange project, after she discovered the Department had not yet produced a business case for it.
The revelation came in a written answer to Alliance Infrastructure spokesperson Ms Armstrong from the Department for Infrastructure, after she asked Minister Chris Hazzard for an internal Departmental report on the business case for the scheme.
However, the answer stated because the project used an ‘Early Contractor Involvement delivery strategy,’ the business case had not yet been finalised.
“The Minister is on record as stating if the money is available, the York Street interchange will be delivered,” said Strangford MLA Ms Armstrong.
“But how can this be the situation when the business case is not done? The Minister needs to urgently clarify what criteria he used to determine his decision to proceed with the A5 and A6 projects but not York Street.
“It certainly appears the decision was made because the business case for the York Street interchange, which sees substantially more daily traffic than the A5 and A6, was not even produced.”
Written Answer AQW 7137/16-21 – Internal Report of the Business Case for the York Street Interchange Project
Q: To ask the Minister for Infrastructure whether a copy of the internal departmental report on the business case for York Street interchange will be made available.
A: The York Street Interchange project utilises an innovative Early Contractor Involvement delivery strategy. This strategy will allow construction to commence as quickly as possible should the necessary funds become available. Due to the nature of this strategy, the business case has not yet been finalised.
The most recent economic appraisal figures for the scheme are contained within the Traffic and Economic section of the Proposed Scheme Report. This report was published, along with the scheme’s draft Statutory Orders and Environmental Statement, in January 2015. The Proposed Scheme Report can be accessed via the project’s website (www.yorkstreetinterchange.com).