The Galway City Council has voted to close a section of Lough Atalia road for eight weeks before the Christmas period, which is expected to cause major traffic disruptions in the city centre in the run up to one of the busiest periods of the year.
The closure, which will take place from September to mid November, will facilitate the lowering of the road beneath the Lough Atalia railway bridge to allow heavy goods vehicles and the emergency services to pass underneath without having to use the middle of the road. Overall, the works will cost approximately €750,000.
The council voted to approve an alternative one-way circulatory route in and out of the city, with inbound traffic on the Lough Atalia Road being diverted via the Fairgreen Road, and outbound traffic redirected along College Road. The approved route was one of six proposed traffic management plans put forward by Mr Billy Dunne, the acting director of services, planning, and transportation. The plan has also been approved officially by the Gardai, with the HSE and fire services apparently showing no objection.
Despite efforts by some councillors to find alternative options, city manager Mr McGrath and Mr Dunne concluded that the current plan was the most cost and time effective option available due to environmental and SAC legislation.