“We warned you” is the message from Galway City Council after traffic was brought to a standstill around the city this week.
And officials have advised motorists to find an alternative route while they carry out overnight works on Lough Atalia for three days at the beginning of September.
Lough Atalia inbound will be closed from the junction of Bóthar Páirc an Aonaigh (behind the Radisson) from 7pm to 7am on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 3 and 4, and on Tuesday September 10. The road closure is to allow works to be carried out to the water network.
Director of Services for Transport and Infrastructure, Ciarán Hayes, said the road will only be closed inbound, and that a diversion will be in place through the Fairgreen, Eyre Square, Victoria Place and onto the Docks.
He said that while schools will have just re-opened when the works are taking place, “there is a never a good time for road works”.
“We always have a difficulty with timing. Any earlier, and it would have coincided with the Arts Festival or the Races, any later and there is a greater likelihood of adverse weather conditions and then we’re up to Christmas.
“Hopefully, this will give us ample time to carry out these necessary works. That public road (Lough Atalia) is always busy because it is limited by Wolfe Tone Bridge.
“We don’t anticipate any huge impact in terms of back-to-school traffic, but where possible, people should use an alternative route,” said Mr Hayes.
Meanwhile, he accepted that the closure of the slip road off the Quincentenary Bridge was a contributory factor to heavy traffic across the city this week, particularly on Wednesday.
Mr Hayes said prior warning had been given about the ‘phenomenon’ that is Galway City traffic during August.
“We warned about this, both on radio and through the press last week. What we’re hitting now is the regular mid-August; the Leaving Cert result are out, the CAO offers are out, students are looking for accommodation, there is back-to-school traffic and tourist traffic.
“This is exactly why we gave advance warning. There is heavy traffic, we know why it’s there, we know mornings are quieter and that’s why we have advised people to make a choice about their journey, things will be easier if they come into town in the mornings,” said Mr Hayes.
He said the works on the Bodkin Roundabout at Galway Shopping Centre “have not given any difficulty yet”, but that the closure of the slip road off the bridge may have contributed to delays on Wednesday.
The Council previously advised that there would be no lane closures on the approach to the roundabout during peak hours.
However, Mr Hayes clarified that this referred to the roadway approaches, and not the slip road. He added that the project has not experienced any major delays and is still on track to be completed at the end of October or beginning of November.
Connacht Tribune tributes to loved ones
These past few months have seen so many communities left to silently mourn family members and friends, whose funerals they would have attended in such numbers, were it not for the current Covid-19 restrictions.
But those that are gone have not been, and will not be, forgotten – which is why we want to open the pages of the Connacht Tribune to you to tell their stories.
If you’ve lost a loved one, whether to Covid-19 or not, or if your community or organization or sports club is mourning the death of a valued member and friend, you can email us your tribute and we will publish it in our papers.
All you have to do it to click on the above link, and it will take you to a short set of questions which you can fill in – and then add whatever you feel tells the story of the life of your friend, family member or colleague.
You can email that with a photograph to us, to email@example.com or you can post it to ‘Obituaries’, Connacht Tribune, 21 Liosban Business Park – and please enclose a contact number in case we have any queries.
We sympathise with anyone who has lost a loved one at this awful time, particularly given that so many people were unable to mourn with them and their family in person – and we hope that this will help in some small way to show those family members that we are all united in grief, even from a distance.
This is an additional feature we are providing alongside our long-established weekly Family Notices section where loved ones are remembered immediately by Months Mind Notices and annual anniversary remembrances. You can contact our team for further details at firstname.lastname@example.org
WATCH: The Olivers to the rescue … again!
Father and son rescue team Patrick and Morgan Oliver were back in action in Salthill this morning, when they helped a swimmer who got into difficulty.
A member of the public raised the alarm at around 10.30am and the Coastguard sought the assistance of Galway Lifeboat who launched from Galway Docks.
Two members of the lifeboat shore crew made their way to the promenade to assist in the rescue.
Patrick and Morgan Oliver were fishing off Salthill at the time and spotted the man taking refuge on Palmers Rock about 200 metres from Salthill shore. They took him on board their fishing boat and brought him back to Galway Docks. Galway Lifeboat in the meantime was stood down.
The man was taken into the Lifeboat station where he received treatment for symptoms of hypothermia until an ambulance arrived.
Assurances given on progress of road, bridge and bus projects
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It will take time and a lot of money, but the city’s network of major transport projects will proceed on schedule – that was the assurance given this week to councillors by City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath.
Councillors had expressed concerns at their meeting on Monday about the slow rate of progress being made with major capital projects including two new pedestrian bridges over the River Corrib.
However, Brendan McGrath told the meeting that the timelines for the range of capital transport projects – while challenging – were reasonable, pragmatic and achievable.
“All of the projects are moving forward but we must adhere to all the procedures and the different stages that have to be complied with: we have no choice in that,” said Brendan McGrath.
Senior City Council Engineer, Uinsinn Finn, in reply to a number of queries about potential new bus routes, said that while the Council worked closely with Bus Éireann and the bus companies, the local authority didn’t decide on the routes.
Earlier in the meeting, Cllr Peter Keane (FF), asked ‘how it could take 63 months’ to deliver a pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Corrib even though the piers (old Corrib Railway Line) were already in place for the project.
“How can it take over five years to put a bridge like this over the Corrib,” he asked, after hearing that this €11 million Greenways-linked project would not be completed until 2026.
There is a snappier timescale for the Salmon Weir Pedestrian/Cycle Bridge – to be located adjacent to the existing structure on the southern side – with planning consent expected by next Summer and a completion date set for the end of 2022.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.