The Galway City Outer Bypass’ inclusion in the Government’s €2 billion economic stimulus is “the single most significant step in its progression since the idea was first conceived”.
This is the view of Fine Gael Galway West TD Brian Walsh, who said “we are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel”, regarding the long delayed project.
The Galway City Outer Bypass will be approved in the capital allocations for Phase 2 funding this afternoon. The bypass will be in Phase 2 due to the legal hold-ups with the European Court decision.
Funds for the stimulus package will come from the sale of State assets, the National Pensions Reserve Fund, and the European Investment Bank.
Some weeks ago, Dep Walsh secured a commitment from An Taoiseach Enda Kenny that the bypass would be assigned priority status under any new Government capital investment programme.
Funding for phase two of the bypass has now been allocated, pending the outcome of the current judicial process.
The eastern section of the project was the subject of a failed legal challenge in the High Court in 2009, which was subsequently appealed to the Supreme Court. The case has now been referred to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling in respect of a number of points relating to EU Law.
An oral hearing is scheduled to take place in September and it is understood that a final decision by the European Court is likely to be issued by the end of the year.
The news has also been welcomed by Fine Gael senator Fidelma Healy Eames.
“This is great news for Galway commuters, business, and tourism,” she said. “Rush hours can take one hour to get from one side of the city to the other. The new bypass, once constructed, will see an end to those intolerable delays that so badly affect the quality of people's lives in Galway city and Connemara.”