Gort to Tuam motorway work to start early next yearJuly 19, 2012 - 7:30am
By Dara Bradley
The Departments of Finance and Transport and the National Roads Authority (NRA) will re-enter negotiations with the preferred bidder for the Gort to Tuam motorway, with a view to building work commencing on the project early next year – it is estimated up to 3,000 jobs will be created over the three and a half year construction period.
Work on the 57-kilometre stretch of the M17/M18 motorway was supposed to start in late 2010 but was stalled due to the country’s financial crisis.
Tuesday’s official unveiling of the Government’s stimulus package means the consortium, Direct Route, is expected to start constructing the road in the Spring/Summer of 2013, with an end of 2016 completion date.
The project will proceed as a Public Private Partnership (PPP), a long term mortgage-type agreement in which private investors build and maintain the road for a certain timeframe and are repaid by the State, and will effectively bypass Clarinbridge, Claregalway and Tuam. The road will bring Shannon Airport to Galway’s doorstep, a Government TD pointed out.
The Government has also officially confirmed that the Galway City Outer Bypass will be built, funded as a PPP, depending on the outcome of a legal challenge currently before the European Courts, which is due to be heard this coming September.
“A further priority transport project is the Galway city bypass – a 12 kilometre orbital route for Galway city linking with the M6 major inter-urban route to Dublin – which is on hold at the moment pending the outcome of legal proceedings. Depending on the outcome of those proceedings it would be hoped to progress it as an additional PPP project,” said a statement from Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, who officially unveiled the plan for an additional €2.25 billion investment in job-rich public infrastructure projects in Ireland.
The bulk of the funding for the entire package will come from a combination of the National Pension Reserve Fund; European Investment Bank (EIB)/Council of Europe Bank; domestic banks; and other potential private investment sources.
Read more in today’s Connacht Tribune