City officials and engineers have come up with 6 options to convert the 5 arm roundabout into a traffic lights controlled junction.
The estimated cost is 1.2 million euro and city CEO Brendan McGrath told a meeting of the council last evening that the aim is to have the scheme completed within 2 years.
Cllr Colette Connolly said the last time traffic lights were proposed for the Kirwan roundabout all hell broke loose among residents and the area’s many businesses.
City senior engineer Uinsionn Finn and Darragh Delaney from Halcrow Barry Consultants presented 6 traffic lights options to councillors at last night’s meeting.
Option 1 involves a 5 arm junction which would be unusual on a main route but would have the least impact on local stakeholders.
Option 2 involves a link road to Liosban, Sandy Road being one way and a crossing over Terryland River and also a 4 arm junction on the N84 and 3 arm junction on the N6.
Option 3 involves Sandy Road being one way and a new link road to Liosban with a 3 arm junction on the N6 and a 4 arm junction on the N84.
Option 4 involves Sandy Road being one way, a link road through the Nox Hotel to Liosban with 3 arm junction on the N6 and a 4 arm junction on the N84.
Option 5 involves diverting Coolagh Road to the N6 Headford Road, moving the entrance to the Dunnes shopping centre to form a 4 arm junction with Coolagh Road and having a 4 arm junction on the N84.
Option 6 involves diverting Coolagh Road to the N84 Headford Road and creating a 3 arm junction and having a 4 arm junction on the N84.
Several councillors suggested a filter lane for Coolagh and Menlo residents with this option.
Cllr Frank Fahy said there was no gain to replacing roundabouts with traffic lights and described the proposals as shifting the chairs on the Titanic, but his comments were shot down by most of his fellow councillors.
The majority feel doing nothing is not an option with 40 thousand vehicles and a thousand pedestrians using the junction each day between 7am and 7pm.
Most are not in favour of a 5 arm option or with the Terryland forest park being tampered with.
Several said the work needs to be done in tandem with other roundabout junctions particularly the Bohermore one.
Mr Finn said all other roundabouts are being looked at with the Galway Clinic junction next on the priority list.
Cllr Mark Lohan said he was disappointed a tunnel option had been disgarded even though he understood it would carry a significantly higher cost.
The options will be presented in detail at a public consultation in Ballinfoile community centre tomorrow fortnight Wed Jan 25th from 3 to 8pm.
It’s hoped to present the emerging preferred route to councillors in April and the meeting was told Transport Infrastructure Ireland is committed to funding the project.