The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide €144m (£115m) towards construction of the scheme, which will be built on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis. Contracts for the M17/M18 Gort to Tuam PPP Scheme were signed in Dublin yesterday for the project, which is expected to create up to 450 jobs.
The overall cost of the scheme is estimated at €550m (£438m) and the road will be toll-free. The 57km new four lane motorway will replace the existing N17/N18 roads, and reduce end-to-end journey times by around 20 minutes. It will provide four lanes from Gort in the south to Tuam in the north, with a major junction with the M6 Galway-Dublin route to the east of Galway City. It will bypass Tuam, Ardrahan, Claregalway, Kilcolgan, Clarinbridge and Gort.
Minister for public expenditure and reform Brendan Howlin said: “I am very pleased that we have achieved sign-off on the latest roads project to be delivered using the public-private partnership model and indeed the first, and largest, project of our new PPP Stimulus Programme.”
This is the second transport public private partnership to be signed under this government, following the M11/Newlands Cross project, and will create up to 450 jobs during the construction and post-construction phases. The entire PPP programme had been frozen since the economic crisis of 2008 but is now fully operational again.