The State’s largest civil engineering project is underway in Galway as the preliminary fencing work is being completed and construction set to commence in April.
The N17/N18 Gort to Tuam motorway, an essential component of the ‘Atlantic Corridor’, will take thousands of vehicles out of Clarinbridge, Claregalway and Tuam each day when it opens in 2018.
The contract for the scheme was awarded by the National Roads Authority to the Public Private Partnership company Direct Route (Tuam) Ltd., whose members include Roadbridge, Sisk, and Lagan Construction. The same consortium successfully delivered the N18 Limerick Tunnel project in recent years.
The scheme runs from Gort in the south to Tuam in the north with a major junction with the N6 Galway to Dublin route east of Galway City, which will ease the frequent congestion and delays the current network suffers. The project scope consists of 53.2km length of motorway standard dual-carriageway route between Gort and Tuam, connecting to a 4.2km length of non-motorway dual-carriageway by-pass to the west of Tuam.
The project will significantly improve road safety; reduce journey times between Limerick, the Shannon Airport region, Galway and beyond; improve connectivity within the western region and significantly assist in the economic development of the Border, Midlands and Western regions.
The scheme is very much an Irish venture, all the sub contractors on the project are local and on average over 400 people will be employed.
One of the unique aspects of the N17/N18 project will be the installation of the Rathmorrisey interchange over the ‘live’ M6. This will be a three-tier junction.
The project, which is being carried out in three sections by Roadbridge, Sisk and Lagan includes the following principal features:

  • Major junctions at Kiltiernan, Rathmorrissey, Anangh Hill and Kilmore
  • Two railway bridges
  • Five river bridges
  • Thirty-eight road over and underbridges
  • Thirty six other structures including footbridges, accommodation underpasses and stream culverts.
  • Various works to meet the requirements of Relevant Persons and Relevant Authorities;
  • Various fencing, drainage, landscaping and environmental works;
  • Various signage and lighting works.

The article first appeared in the March/April issue of Construction magazine.