M6 Galway to East Ballinasloe

RPS were appointed by Galway County Council in 1999 to develop the route for this ambitious scheme through to constraints study, route selection, traffic modelling, tolling studies, EIS, CPO, oral hearing, advanced works contract, PPP tender process and construction supervision.


The M6 Galway to Ballinasloe is the largest road project ever constructed in the West of Ireland. RPS undertook the preliminary road and bridge design for 56km of high quality dual carriageway mainline, 30 km of side and link roads, 5 grade separated junctions and 44 bridges, including a major crossing of the River Suck. RPS began services in 1999, were retained by Galway County Council in 2004 for the PPP Services and appointed by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (formally NRA) for Construction.

RPS prepared the scheme EIS in tandem with the preliminary design process. Key environmental issues included impacts to Natura 2000 sites and potential impacts to the small white orchid (a protected species).

Key details

Project name

M6 Galway to East Ballinasloe


Transport Infrastructure Ireland / Galway County Council


Galway, Ireland 

Services provided

  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
  • Civil & Structural Engineering
  • Transport Engineering
  • Project Management
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Road & bridge design
  • Public consultation
  • Tender assessment
  • Contract administration
  • Construction contract works monitoring
  • PSDP (CDM equivalent)


Key environmental issues identified included impacts to Natura 2000 sites and the presence of protected species including bats, badgers, otters, small white orchid, white-clawed crayfish and Greenland White Fronted Geese.

The original project brief envisaged linking Galway, Loughrea and Ballinasloe broadly following the existing N6 corridor. In developing the route options RPS considered the environmental and archaeological constraints and the initial traffic studies. 

Treanbaun Bridge, M6 - Ireland


RPS delivered 56 kilometers of dual carriageway, 30 kilometers of side and link roads, 5 grade separated junctions and 44 structures, including a 120 metre span bridge across the River Suck.

The selected route provided many benefits, including shortening the route by approximately 5km and environmental advantages over the original project brief route. 

To safeguard habitats and species during the construction and operation of the road, ecological and environmental surveys were conducted by specialists who recommended mitigation measures to be adopted in the design. Extensive mitigation measures were developed including translocation of the small white orchid habitat and the creation of suitable compensation/replacement habitat within the road boundary. This compensation habitat creation was carried out in advance of the scheme construction, as part of an archaeological excavation contract.



Project statistics

Kilometers of dual carriageway
Kilometers of side and link roads.
Grade separated junctions

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