An ‘explosive’ episode for Joe Mahon in the next Ulster Giants

Ulster Giants, which celebrates Northern Ireland’s rich civil engineering heritage, continues this Monday, with an in-depth look at the A6 road upgrade between Randalstown and Castledawson, and what was involved in the construction of this massive civil engineering project.

David Porter and Joe Mahon on the new bridge overlooking the A6 to Randalstown
David Porter and Joe Mahon on the new bridge overlooking the A6 to Randalstown

In this the third series, presenter Joe Mahon travels across Northern Ireland to uncover the inspiring stories, which celebrate the mighty achievements of the past that have transformed our daily living, and reveals the cutting-edge technology that is shaping the future of our infrastructure.

With the help of the experts in their fields, Joe reveals the stories behind some of Northern Ireland’s well-known landmarks and also sheds light on how civil engineering is in operation all around us.

In this episode, Joe Mahon bids farewell to the Moneynick Road from one of the new bridges on the new A6 dual carriageway. The Department for Infrastructure is delivering the A6 Dualling Scheme, upgrading 14.7 kilometres of 'Transport Corridor' between Randalstown and Castledawson, much to the relief of the 20,000 drivers who use this section of the route each day.

The Moneynick Road still exists, of course, because such roads are essential for local access, and a great deal of time and money is spent ensuring that local communities living alongside the new dual carriageway can still go about their business.

Joe also learns about the importance of the local area to swans, and how the contractors planned the work to cause no disruption or harm to their flight paths and habitat.

In the second half of the programme, Joe examines the process of creating the road surfacing. Joe traces the basalt material used, back to its origins at Croaghan Quarry, outside Coleraine, and of course is there for the start of the whole process when a huge section of rock gets blown up.

He follows the whole process from how the stones get broken down, right to transportation to their final destination in insulated trucks to keep them warm for laying on the new road.

Ulster Giants is produced by Westway Film Productions for UTV and is sponsored by ‘Mid & East Antrim – A Place Shaped by Sea & Stone.’  You can watch this episode on Monday 20 July at 20.00 on UTV and on catch up on the ITV website.

Remaining Episodes:

  • 20 July          Toome / Randalstown dualling (Moneynick Rd) - Croaghan Quarry
  • 27 July          Caledon and Sion Mills suspension bridges
  • 03 August   Carrick Castle re-roofing and Railway Preservation Society (Whitehead)
Top