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M6/4 Motorway Galway to Dublin (for discussing completed sections)

  • 25-12-2008 11:52pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,110 KevR


    I know there are various other M6 threads which deal with individual sections but I thought it might be good to also have one general M6 thread which could have discussions about every and any section of the M6 motorway – completed and under construction.
    I hope it’s ok to have a general thread like this.

    Just for anyone who doesn’t know, there are 2 sections of the M6 still under construction:
    • West of Athlone – East of Ballinasloe [20 km]
    • East of Ballinasloe – Galway City East [56 km]

    The completed section runs from Kinnegad (where it joins with the M4) to Athlone. This section was constructed under 3 separate construction projects.

    More detailed information about any of these individual projects can be found in the corresponding threads or from Wikipedia.
    Athlone - Ballinasloe
    Ballinasloe - Galway
    Wikipedia


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 KevR


    I had a short drive on the new section (East Athlone – Kilbeggan section) for the first time on Monday. I only drove from Athlone to Moate and back but from what I saw they’ve done a pretty good job on it. Very gentle curves (especially when you’re just after coming off the Athlone bypass!) and a good surface (didn’t seem to be bumpy as was described about some of the other new sections of motorway around the country).


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 KevR


    Have some new pictures here from the M6/N18 junction and from up on the mainline at Garraun North. Also have a couple of old pictures from a few weeks of the underbridge at Garraun North.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 KevR


    Some more photos...

    The last 2 here are the old ones.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,082 Chris_533976


    Thanks :D

    For the Galway - Ballinasloe scheme, the official opening date is the 4th Jan 2010. Realistically, it'll be before Christmas 2009, as that would make sense. All providing it goes well though!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 KevR


    No problem!

    Hopefully i'll be able to get some decent photos every now and again that will chart its progress.

    I'm no expert but from what I have seen of the progress they've made so far, I can definitely see it opening early. And if the most recent section of the M8 is anything to go by for opening dates....


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,045 AugustusMaximus


    Great to see the progress being made on the M6. Thanks for the pics too.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    Thanks for the photos. I see the batching plant is up, which means they must be laying quite a bit of blacktop already.

    Also, in the photo of the advanced section the cones are spaced far apart. Are they constructing a wide median there?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,082 Chris_533976


    The thing that'll hold this scheme from opening too early is the River Suck bridge in Ballinasloe. Its going well, but bridges are harder to rush than road.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 KevR


    Furet wrote: »
    Also, in the photo of the advanced section the cones are spaced far apart. Are they constructing a wide median there?

    That's what I was thinking aswell.

    I don't really know whether it will be wide median or not. Closer to Doughiska, there is only one line of cones (rather than 2 lines spaced apart) seperating what will be the 2 carriageways. It looks like it will definitely be narrow median near Doughiska and near Garraun North.
    Not sure about near the N18 though - the mainline road seems to be wider. Don't know if this has anything to do with slip-roads for the N18 junction or whether there will be a wide median.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,297 ✭✭✭ embraer170


    How long does driving Dublin-Galway take these days?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭ dubhthach


    embraer170 wrote: »
    How long does driving Dublin-Galway take these days?

    I generally do Salthill (West Galway City) to Baggot street in about 2hours 45minutes these days and that's been "good" of course I don't tend to drive during peak driving hours.

    If you are driving from east Galway city (mervue/renmore etc.) to the M50 ye could probably do it in 2hours 15minutes or less.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,297 ✭✭✭ embraer170


    Thanks dubhthach.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 KevR


    embraer170 wrote: »
    How long does driving Dublin-Galway take these days?

    Last time I drove to Dublin, I drove from the West side of Galway City to Dublin Airport in under 2 and a half hours with a 5 min stop along the way. That was off-peak but it was also before the Kilbeggan-Athlone section of motorway opened and there was reduced speed limits on the N4 near Dublin and M50 because of roadworks.

    Could probably do it in less than 2 hours 15 minutes off-peak now with the new section of motorway.

    I think when roadworks on the N4 and M50 are completed and when the rest of the M6 (not including Galway bypass) opens it will be possible to do West Galway City to Dublin Airport or Dublin City Centre comfortably in under 2 hrs off-peak. Hard to say about peak times - can take up to an hour just to get across Galway when traffic is very bad and traffic on the M50 or in Dublin City could add a lot to journey times also.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    Here's a question: How long did it take pre-M50, pre-M4, pre-M6?
    Back in 1985, say.

    I'm curious. I know it used to take my father 2.5 hours to get from Cashel to Dublin (Bluebell) back in the 80s.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 KevR


    I'm not quite old enough to remember how long it took back in 1985 but my parents reckon it used to take at least 3.5 or 4 hours to drive from Galway to Dublin pre any motorways.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 60,550 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    Furet wrote: »
    Here's a question: How long did it take pre-M50, pre-M4, pre-M6?
    Back in 1985, say.

    I'm curious. I know it used to take my father 2.5 hours to get from Cashel to Dublin (Bluebell) back in the 80s.

    It could take an hour to clear past Kilcock then - even the Chapeliziod bypass wasn't open yet if you're counting from the city centre; and the Lucan bypass was only under construction if you're counting from (the site of) the M50.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,746 ✭✭✭✭ JupiterKid


    The road network in Ireland in the 1980s was a total disgrace - I remember it well. Practically no bypasses, and very little dual carriageway.:(

    On the N4 in 1985 the only section of DC was the Palmerstown Bypass and that was only a few kilometres and brand new.:rolleyes:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    I'd imagine the toll for the Ballinasloe-Galway section will be very high because of its length.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 15,057 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gonzo


    I remember it taking well over 3 hours getting from Dublin to Galway, often 45 minutes would be spent crawling through Athlone.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 KevR


    Furet wrote: »
    I'd imagine the toll for the Ballinasloe-Galway section will be very high because of its length.

    Yeah I'm worried about this. Although if it's ridiculously high then many will probably opt not to use the section so the toll operators might just be shooting themselves in the foot if they don't at least try and price it at a similar level to other tolls in the country.

    The thing about this section is that it differs quite a bit from the existing N6. If you go on the motorway at all then it will be difficult to get off and onto the old N6 to avoid paying the toll. You wouldn't make any time saving by using some of the motorway and then going back onto the old N6 - in fact you would probably take longer than just going on the old N6 from the start. If I wanted to avoid the toll driving from Galway-Dublin I'd probably go on the old N6 the whole way from Galway-Ballinasloe and then get on the M6 there after the toll plaza. People will either have to use this entire section of m'way and pay the toll or just use the N6 entirely between Galway and Ballinasloe.

    I wonder if they will have slip road toll booths at the Loughrea link road junction (like they do on the M4 at Maynooth I think)? Will be interesting to see..


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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 60,550 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    KevR wrote: »
    I wonder if they will have slip road toll booths at the Loughrea link road junction (like they do on the M4 at Maynooth I think)? Will be interesting to see..

    Enfield.

    Maynooth bypass was built by the state (I believe 100% funded by as well; at that...). Of course, there is form of state-built roads being eaten by PPP projects tolling coverage (Watergrasshill bypass, anyone?)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,082 Chris_533976


    KevR wrote: »
    Yeah I'm worried about this. Although if it's ridiculously high then many will probably opt not to use the section so the toll operators might just be shooting themselves in the foot if they don't at least try and price it at a similar level to other tolls in the country.

    The thing about this section is that it differs quite a bit from the existing N6. If you go on the motorway at all then it will be difficult to get off and onto the old N6 to avoid paying the toll. You wouldn't make any time saving by using some of the motorway and then going back onto the old N6 - in fact you would probably take longer than just going on the old N6 from the start. If I wanted to avoid the toll driving from Galway-Dublin I'd probably go on the old N6 the whole way from Galway-Ballinasloe and then get on the M6 there after the toll plaza. People will either have to use this entire section of m'way and pay the toll or just use the N6 entirely between Galway and Ballinasloe.

    I wonder if they will have slip road toll booths at the Loughrea link road junction (like they do on the M4 at Maynooth I think)? Will be interesting to see..

    No idea about the amount of the toll.

    Looking at maps, theres no toll on the Loughrea link.
    I have it confirmed from the NRA that there'll be no slip road tolls effecting the future M18 alignment, and AFAIK there wont be any on the M17. Thats assuming neither of those roads go ahead as PPPs themselves.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 BluntGuy


    The tolled M6 will have 5 grade seperated junctions, and AFAIK only one is restricted access. It is impossbile for them to ensure that everybody who travels on it has to pay a toll, so my theory is that will there will be one toll on the mainline and that's it.

    The toll will probably be a reasonable price - maybe two euro. The section isn't going to be incredibly heavily trafficked, so I doubt they'd raise it as they'd generate even less revenue.

    The M4 toll is disgracefully high though... :mad:

    It is the only toll in the country I can't stand...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 78 ✭✭✭ rekrow


    No idea about the amount of the toll.

    The tolling info for the scheme was posted on the PPP section of the NRA website http://www.nra.ie/PublicPrivatePartnership/TollingDocumentation/file,2856,en.pdf

    The 2005 figure was 1.60 and the rule of thumb seems to be that they get 10 cent per year. Based on this the toll will be 2 euro to 2.10 depending on which side of christmas the road opens. I seem to recall the M4 opened and had a toll increase within a couple of months.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 KevR


    Furet wrote: »
    Also, in the photo of the advanced section the cones are spaced far apart. Are they constructing a wide median there?

    Just from what BluntGuy was saying in the M8 thread:
    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=58436339&postcount=234
    BluntGuy wrote: »
    Can I just point your attention to 0:34 of the first clip. I always used to wonder what that extra bit of "lined out" carriageway was for, well it turns out it is to do with sightlines. In order to have motorway standard sightlines, the northbound carriageway actually has to bend more gently relative to the southbound carriageway. It's an interesting fact that I only recently picked up on.

    Sometimes they plant a bit of grass in that space... shame they couldn't do it here, grass helps offset the ugliness of the CSB.


    It could well be extra lined out carriageway for sightline reasons rather than a wide median on the stretch we were wondering about..


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 KevR


    Was out near Athenry this morning and got a couple of pictures. Click for larger picture.

    The first two photos are of the R348 overbridge South East of Athenry. In the first one you can see a bit of the existing R348. The R348 will be re-aligned and carried over the M6 on an overbridge, the M6 will run underneath at ground level and across where the old/current alignment of the R348.
    th_R348OverbridgeRe-alignmentSouthEast.jpg th_R348OverbridgeSouthEastofAthenry.jpg


    Next is the R347 underbridge South of Athenry. There are still a fair few diggers around this area (I presume they are there moving earth or something like that). Not a great photo because I took it from my car..
    th_R347UnderbridgeSouthofAthenry.jpg


    R348 (road between the N6 at Derrydonnell and Athenry town) underbridge West of Athenry.
    th_R348UnderbridgeWestofAthenry.jpg


    Not M6 photos, but 2 photos of the existing N6 Dual Carriageway between Galway and Oranmore. The section in these photos has seen better days. Road markings are a bit faded, surface has become a bit rough/bumpy, the cats eyes aren't great at night and a bit of the cable in the central barrier looks like it needs to be re-tensioned. To be expected though as it's quite old and is very busy usually. Traffic was light when I took the photos early on Sunday morning.
    th_ExistingN6DualCarriageway.jpg th_ExistingN6DC.jpg


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    Can someone snap a few shots of the Athlone Bypass? I've never seen it.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 15,057 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gonzo


    JupiterKid wrote: »
    The road network in Ireland in the 1980s was a total disgrace - I remember it well. Practically no bypasses, and very little dual carriageway.:(

    On the N4 in 1985 the only section of DC was the Palmerstown Bypass and that was only a few kilometres and brand new.:rolleyes:

    very true... I think Ireland only had 6km of Motorway up to 1990? (The Naas By-Pass) and that was it till the Santry M1 was built and even that was very short.

    I remember as a kid driving up to Belfast with my parents on a dirt track of a road (N1) and then been blown away by the A1/M1 North of the border, most of it dual carriageway/Motorway back in 1987, however now its still largely the same except for the new section across the border South of Newry.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,476 ✭✭✭ ardmacha


    and then been blown away by the A1/M1 North of the border,

    them was the days.....


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  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 10,432 Mod ✭✭✭✭ icdg


    Gonzo wrote: »
    very true... I think Ireland only had 6km of Motorway up to 1990? (The Naas By-Pass) and that was it till the Santry M1 was built and even that was very short.

    The M1 Airport Motorway actually opened in 1985, two years after the M7 Naas Bypass, although some of it was open as D2AP before that. The original signage was 1980s-style (ie no italics) and was a dead giveaway as to the age of this section.

    That was it for Irish motorways, until the M50 West-Link opened in October 1990 (with the rest of the Western Parkway opening shortly afterwards).

    Now its the North thats falling behind. No new motorways have opened in NI since the M3 (which is only about 2km long) in 1998 and even that was the first new strech of motorway since 1980 or thereabouts, the North has seen no substantial motorway construcction since 1973 or thereabouts.


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