Supporting Local News

Flood design ‘blunder’ could close M18 motorway

The M18 motorway would have to be closed to traffic to install a bigger culvert and the project funded separately by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) – otherwise the mammoth scheme earmarked to solve flooding in South Galway could be shelved.

That was the claim at this week’s Loughrea Municipal District meeting during an update from the Head of the South Galway Gort Lowlands Flood Relief Scheme, Enda Gallagher.

The engineer explained that detailed drawings of the proposed scheme would be presented to the public in September following years of studies, modelling and environmental reviews.

But issues outside of the control of project team could affect that schedule, even after years of delays.

“The TII is one of the big things that could affect the timing. We are looking at September if everything goes well,” he told area councillors.

Councillor Joe Byrne (FG) said it was essential the team took control over key stumbling blocks. One of those was that the culvert built as part of the M18 motorway from Gort to Tuam was not big enough to prevent flooding.

“We need a high-level consensus with the TII to ensure that in three months’ time we don’t delay things further, to ensure it doesn’t become a brick wall. A culvert was inadequately sized in the first place, so we need to come up with a plan. How are we going to make this happen – or it could sink the whole scheme,” he insisted.

Cllr Gerry Finnerty (FF) said it was highlighted that the culvert was not big enough when the road was opened.

(Photo: flooding in Labane)

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