As construction officially starts on the new M17/M18 Tuam to Gort motorway and the Tuam Bypass this Thursday January 15th, work on this massive piece of piece of infrastructure will mean millions of euro to the local economy over the next four years.
The new route is also expected to bring more industries to the area after its opening in late 2018.
The January 15th start-up date was first reported in The Tuam Herald on November 27th by a spokesperson for the Direct Route consortium. The group kept to their schedule and started moving in machinery and other construction requirements to a site just off the Galway Road in Tuam last weekend.
Further construction sites are being prepared in Corofin and at other locations south to Gort. A spokesperson for Direct Routes said they are pleased to have been able to keep to their planned starting schedule.
“In the early stages the number of people working on the project will rise fairly rapidly to 100 while at peak times there will be over 600 on the scheme,” said the spokesperson.
Tradesmen from this area who had emigrated to Australia, the UK and other countries in search of work are returning to work on this motorway.
Tony Collins, Galway Co Council’s Liaison Officer for the scheme, says the project will mean a massive boost to businesses as well as to employment.
“It will be beneficial in sales for local suppliers such as hardware shops, hauliers, plant hire, cafes and countless other local businesses.
“We are delighted that the contractors are on site with the compound at Galway Road, Tuam and work on other compounds also getting underway in Corofin, Monivea Road and other areas further south,” said Tony.
“We expect work on the 4km Tuam Bypass to start at the same time as the rest of the 57km long project.
“Site clearance work is also starting at Brockagh, Corofin with the removal of trees and fencing going on there. Along part of the route locally three houses are being demolished, one is already removed and two others are set for demolition shortly,” he added.
Sean O’Neill of the NRA said that apart from ensuring that Tuam will be only two hours’ driving distance from Dublin and dramatically shortening the road journeys to other places such as Shannon and Knock Airports, people here will also benefit going to and from Galway City.
“Once completed it will relieve the problem of traffic tailbacks in Claregalway which affects so many people going to and from work every day. It will also free up traffic jams around Tuam”, he concluded.
As work is expected to be completed on the Tuam Bypass earlier than on the rest of the scheme there is a possibility that it could be opened earlier but this will be dependent on many factors, according to Sean.
“When the time comes that will be up to the contractor regarding their overall works programme and how it is progressing and will also be dependent on how they want to best provide the infrastructure within the total scheme,” says the NRA official.
“But for now we are pleased that the overall project is going into its full construction phase after to much supervisory work has already been done and we hope the January weather will also be kind to the contractors,” he added.