News that the M17/18 motorway will open ahead of schedule on September 27 was welcomed this week by Deputy 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 27. This follows three years of construction and 10 to 15 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 the 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.”