Galway City ring road project is going through An Bord Pleanála and if approved it will require to demolish 44 homes.
The N6 Ring Road project has been in development for several years, but the latest version moved forward to the Board’s review late last year.
The proposal filed by the Galway City Council includes an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIS) and a Natura Impact Statement (NIS) pointing out the potential influence on European sites.
Objections submitted by the public will be addressed in an Oral Hearing in mid-2019.
Mayor Niall McNelis said he supports the initiative because getting cars out of the city center will drastically improve traffic in Galway City.
“We have three bridges going across the city center at the moment with an average of 100 thousand cars a day going over it, so to get those cars out of the city center we need to have an outer city ring road,” said Mayor McNelis.
He also pointed out that Galway City last year had 2.1 million visitors and next year and those numbers are expected to raise to over three million in the next year.
The N6 Galway City Ring Road project is a part of the Galway Transport Strategy (GTS) which aims to solve different transport issues in the city.
The strategy also incorporates bus, rail and cycle improvements and the ring road proposed length is a 6km single carriageway and a 12km dual carriageway/motorway, coming to a total of 18km.
It includes two tunnels, one near Lackagh and another near the Galway Racecourse, as well as a Viaduct in the Menlough area and a bridge over the River Corrib.
“We can’t even look at doing all of our other implementations of our transportation strategy unless we got the outer city ring road there,” pointed out the Mayor.
However, should the construction of the ring road move forward it will be necessary to demolish 44 homes and evict another 10 tenants whose houses sit in places unfit for people to live in.
Mayor McNelis said it’s sad that some people will lose their homes, but he hopes to be able to compensate them fairly.
“They fought hard, worked hard and saved up hard to get these houses but hopefully with proper consultations and working with them, we will be able to find alternative accommodation and make sure that they are well compensated for that process,” he said.
Since the €600 million ring road project is going through several reviews, the timeline is uncertain, but the estimation is that a decision should be made around November 2019.