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CITY TRIBUNE

City Bypass planning application set to be lodged in July

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THE planning application for the city’s €600m Outer Bypass will be lodged directly with An Bord Pleanála in early July of this year, a sub-committee of the City Council has been informed.

The City Council’s Transportation Strategic Policy Committee (SPC), was told that the planning application would be submitted in early July – the first step in a planning process that could take a number of years to complete.

Cllr Peter Keane confirmed to the Galway City Tribune that the SPC was told of the proposed date for the lodging of the planning application – a move, that he said, should clear the way towards providing Galway’s ‘most critical ever piece of infrastructure’.

He said that because the project had been IROPI designated (Imperative Reasons of Overriding Public Interest), it could be submitted directly to the Planning Authority for consideration.

“While this will only be one part of the solution to our transport problems, I believe that it will be the single most important piece of infrastructure ever to be provided in the city.

“We just cannot continue with a situation where 70% of the traffic that travels west to east each morning in Galway has to go through the city centre, without having any need to.

“I am still hoping that we can have ‘shovels on the ground’ by late 2019 or by early 2020 and I think that every effort has to be made to get this project underway, sooner rather than later,” said Cllr. Keane.

He said that current traffic congestion levels were ‘unacceptable’ and he felt ‘certain’ that the provision of the Galway City Outer Bypass (officially titled the ‘N6 Galway City Ring Road’) would ‘alleviate the suffering’ of many commuters from the Knocknacarra community.

Last December, the consultants charged with designing the 16km route – from the east of the city at a super-junction north of the Galway Clinic to junction with the Coast Road west of Barna – said that the project had a start-up date of 2021 and a completion date of 2024.

ARUP Consultant Engineers, told a meeting of the City Council late last year, that the project would be ‘shovel ready’ by 2021 and be completed three years later, subject to planning approval.

According to ARUP, the project has been costed at €593 million, and will, when completed, have the status of an urban motorway with hard shoulders and a central concrete median.

Two tunnels for the project – at Galway Racecourse and the Lackagh Quarries site – have been scaled back considerably in size from the original plans, but 42 houses along the route will still have to be demolished, according to ARUP.

Cllr Keane has warned that politically, Galway needs to ‘keep its eye on the ball’ to ensure that it stays on top of the priority list for transport spending, especially in the context of proposals being advanced for the Limerick-to-Cork motorway.

“We really do need to keep this at the top of the agenda in terms of priority projects for capital spending. We don’t need any more false dawns – this project needs to be copper-fastened over the coming months and years,” said Cllr. Keane.

CITY TRIBUNE

City Council’s contempt for the public it serves

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A City Council picture showing an aerial view of work on the new pedestrian bridge. The local authority has not covered itself in glory when it comes to informing the public about road closures to facilitate the project.

Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column by Dara Bradley

Galway City Council appears to just do what it wants when it wants.

Last Friday, it officially closed a road at Newtownsmyth. It will be closed until October 28.

The closure, which was to commence last Friday, September 23, was to facilitate construction works on the new bridge at Salmon Weir for pedestrians and cycling.

It is essential work and the closure is necessary for health and safety purposes.

The City Council, as is only right and proper, advertised the closure in advance, online and in a free-sheet newspaper. So far, so good.

Except, as anyone who knows Newtownsmyth is aware, that road has been closed for weeks and even months prior to the September 23 official closure start date.

Trying to find the City Council’s closure order, and public notice, for closing the road at Newtownsmyth prior to September 23 has proved as difficult as sourcing the Third secret of Fatima.

Requests to City Hall’s communications department to confirm whether the Council had a legitimate closure order prior to September 23 have not shone any light on the subject.

And so, in the absence of an adequate response, is it reasonable to conclude that the Council did not have permission to close Newtownsmyth prior to September 23?

And if that’s the case, can the Council now just go around closing roads willy-nilly, without notice and without allowing input from residents and users of the road?

Maybe it was a mistake. If it was, why not say so? The Galway public is forgiving. Maybe they had gone through proper procedure, but why not just show us the notice if that’s the case?

For too long now, though, City Councillors have been treated with contempt by the unelected executive at City Hall and the suspicion is this closure without notice was just another manifestation of that contempt spreading to the public too.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

City sides will fancy chances of advancing as champions face Corofin

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Bearna's James Kennedy hits the deck in Ballinasloe on Tuesday as Annaghdown's Frankie Burke and Darragh Meehan try to chase down possession. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

The battle for this year’s county Senior Gaelic football club title looks to be wide open after the quarter-final draw was made this week following the delayed conclusion of the group stages on Tuesday night.

Salthill/Knocknacarra, who finished second in group 2, have been handed a last eight tie with a Tuam Stars side that finished third in group 1; while St Michael’s, who topped Group 3, will face an Annaghdown side that nabbed the final quarter-final spot in dramatic fashion on Tuesday night.

They went into their game with Bearna knowing they needed to win by a minimum of 12points to pip Milltown to the final qualifying spot as the second best of the teams that finished third in the group stages.

They looked to be coming up just short until they were awarded a late free, which goalkeeper James Healy converted, to snatch that remaining quarter-final slot on socring difference form Milltown.

The 2020 champions, Moycullen, will take on Claregalway in the last eight; while the pick of the ties is undoubtedly the clash of defending champions, Mountbellew/Moylough, with a Corofin side that was denied the five-in-a-row by Moycullen two years ago.

At the other end of the equation, St James’ are in a relegation battle, and face a clash with An Spidéal in the preliminary play-offs. A win will secure their senior status for another year, but a defeat will see them join Oughterard, An Cheathru Rua, and the losers of the other preliminary play-off between Caherlistrane and Monivea/Abbey in a round robin league, with the bottom two sides in those play-offs dropping to the intermediate ranks next year.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

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Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Play-offs dress rehearsal facing Utd against Treaty

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Former Galway United player Enda Curran celebrates his recent hat-trick for Treaty United in their FAI Cup quarter-final win over UCD. The in-form Mervue native will be facing the Tribesmen in a First Division clash on Friday.

GALWAY United head to Limerick this Friday evening for what is looking like a dress rehearsal for the end-of-season play-offs as they take on Treaty United in the Markets Field (7.45pm).

This is United’s game-in-hand over league leaders, Cork City, and a win will see them close the gap on the Leesiders to four points with three games remaining, and while a win would give the slightest of hopes of a late challenge for league honours, it is more likely to serve as a further boost to confidence ahead of the protracted play-off series that kicks-off at the end of next month.

United need to win their final four games to have any hope of snatching the title, and given the goal difference between the sides, they also need to hope that City don’t pick up more than four points from their last three games, if they are to finish top of the pile.

United’s last three games after this weekend are at home to Athlone, away to Wexford, and home to Longford Town; while City are home to Wexford, away to Athlone, and home to Bray, the easier of the two run-ins, so for United it is all about building momentum ahead of the play-offs.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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