Many motorists in the west of the country shudder at the very mention of Claregalway and Clarinbridge – both notorious bottlenecks on the N17/N18 route between Sligo and Limerick. Those of you in the rest of the country may well recognise their names too, since they so often feature in our traffic reports.
After a decade of planning and three years of construction, the new M17/M18 motorway between Tuam and Gort is set to open at 4pm on Wednesday 27th September, ahead of schedule. Laid out on a largely greenfield route, the 57km stretch of motorway should shave at least 20 minutes from journey times from one end to another (depending on traffic conditions), and will allow traffic to bypass Tuam, Claregalway, Clarinbridge, Kilcolgan, Ardrahan and Gort.
A spokesman for Transport Infrastructure Ireland said: “The new road will significantly improve safety and reduce journey times for traffic travelling north-south along the West of Ireland. It will also improve connectivity between the Western Region and Dublin and will significantly assist in the economic development of the BMW (Borders, Midlands and Western) regions.”
Here are the junctions, from north to south:
- Mountpotter R/A on the existing N17 and N83
- Ballygaddy Rd Jct at Tuam
- Kilmore R/A – connecting to the N17 south of Tuam
- Annagh Hill Jct – connecting to the N63 Galway/Roscommon Rd
- Rathmorrissy Jct – connecting to the M6 Galway/Dublin Rd west of Athenry (pictured above)
- Kiltiernan Jct – connecting to the existing N18
- Gort Jct on the existing M18
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More information on the project is available here.