A new era in travel across the west was unveiled yesterday (Wednesday) with the opening of the long-awaited new motorway between Gort and Tuam.
The M17/M18 runs over 57km and has cost €550 million to complete – but it is now expected to significantly reduce journey times to and from the northwest, by bypassing several traffic bottlenecks – most critically through Tuam, Claregalway and Clarinbridge.
The new 53km motorway – which was officially opened by Transport Minister Shane Ross yesterday – will have no tolls, and will intersect with the existing M6 motorway at Rathmorrissey, linking Tuam and Gort. It is expected to shave an average of 20 minutes off the journey time from start to finish.
“This is my first major road opening as Minister for Transport so I am delighted that the M17/18 road scheme has been completed two months ahead of schedule and on budget,” said Minister Ross as he opened the road to traffic.
“This new motorway is a huge boost for the western seaboard area. It will enhance employment opportunities, benefit tourism and help address traffic bottlenecks at Tuam, Claregalway, Oranmore, Clarinbridge, Kilcolgan and Gort. I look forward to using it,” he added.
See full report in this week’s Connacht Tribune.