Concerns over long awaited upgrade of N59 as contractor withdraws from project

Galway Bay fm newsroom – Some doubt has now arisen about the start-up date for a major 5 kilometre upgrade of the N. 59 road east of Maam Cross.

It has been confirmed that the contractor favoured by the roads authority and the County Council has now withdrawn from the process.

The total upgrade of the N. 59 on a 5 kilometre section east of Maam Cross is seen as a breakthrough in getting the main Connemara road to a national standard.

While permission was given by an Bord Pleanála six years ago for the section from Maam Cross to Oughterard, the project became bogged down in environmental issues.

However, the section from Maam Cross towards Leam got clearance earlier this year.

Work was pencilled in to start in September.

Now the preferred contractor is no longer in the running and others who submitted tenders are being contacted by the County Council.

Sources familiar with road works say this project will involve deep excavation and a huge amount of filling in; scores of thousands of lorry loads are mentioned.

There are also environmental constraints.

It is not clear, at this stage if this latest turn of events will delay the work.