News that the M17/18 motorway will open ahead of schedule on September 27th was welcomed this week by East Galway TD Seán Canney.
‘The opening of this road is a very significant development for motorists and businesses all along the route from Gort to Tuam, including towns such as Loughrea and Athenry. I have been pushing for the early opening of the motorway and by-pass and welcome the fact that the road will now be open months ahead of schedule.
‘The new stretch of motorway and Tuam by-pass will now officially open on Wednesday, September 27th. This follows three years of construction and ten to fifteen years of preparation, planning and design.
‘The opening of the new motorway will result in enormous potential for investment in towns such as Tuam, Athenry, Loughrea and Gort. It is important that these towns prepare for the opening of this major infrastructural project and the potential investment that this new route will bring. I will be pressing for IDA to engage with their clients to put forward a case for foreign direct investment along this major corridor route.
‘The new motorway will enhance connectivity to Dublin and Shannon, reducing travel time to Shannon Airport by up to 20 minutes and over 30 minutes to Dublin Airport, and will make the route much more attractive for people in Mayo and Sligo, especially as the route is toll-free.
‘Now that the N17/18 motorway is completed, the surface of the old road through Tuam must be upgraded. This was always earmarked for upgrading works once the motorway project was complete and work on this road must be done immediately. The next major project which should be considered will be the development of the N17 northwards to link up with the N5 and N4, creating an arterial route through the west.
‘The opening of the new motorway will have positive implications for traffic bottlenecks such as Claregalway, which will be a welcome development for Galway commuters.
‘I would like to compliment Transport Infrastructure Ireland, the Department of Transport, Galway County Council and the contractors involved on the early delivery of this vital piece of infrastructure for Galway East.