M6 (Republic of Ireland)
|Distance:||129.2 km (80.3 miles)|
|Meets:||M4, N6, N52, N62, N80, N65, M17, M18|
|Route outline (key)|
The M6 is the motorway-standard part of the N6, which, running west from near Kinnegad, provides, together with the N4 / M4, the main route between Dublin and Galway. Like several other recently constructed motorways in Ireland, it is partly tolled.
The M6 begins near Kinnegad as a limited-access motorway TOTSO with the M4 at J11, taking the motorway mainline. Almost immediately, junction 2 with the R148 provides the missing movements between the two motorways. Between junctions 4 and 5, the N52 multiplexes with the motorway.
Motorway restrictions temporarily end between junctions 8 and 13, to provide an all-purpose bypass of Athlone, which is below the required standard, after which motorway restrictions resume. There is a toll between junctions 15 and 16, which is at this point some distance away from the old N6 and hence the most suitable location for capturing traffic. Junction 16 has an extension of the N65 back down to Loughread.
The end of the motorway is at Junction 19 with the N18, after which the road quality drops down to the all-purpose N6, although the next junction, the at-grade Coolagh Roundabout, appears as J20 on some maps.
The M6 is a relatively recent construction. Much of the road had had originally been upgrades of the N6 to high-quality dual carriageway, which were further upgraded to motorway.
During heavy flooding in late November 2009, closing Galway off from the rest of the country, one carriageway of the nearly finished motorway was temporarily opened between the junction 19 (N18) and the junction 16 (north of Loughrea). One carriageway of the Ballinasloe bypass also opened before full opening as motorway on the 13th of December 2009.
Irish Statute Book
- Roads Act 2007 (Declaration of Motorways) Order 2008 - This instrument converts the following sections of the N6 to motorway: Kinnegad to Kilbeggan, Kilbeggan to Athlone
- Roads Act 2007 (Declaration of Motorways) Order 2009 - This instrument converts the following sections of the N6 to motorway: Athlone to Ballinasloe (also known as the N6 Ballinasloe to Athlone Dual Carriageway Scheme), Galway to Ballinasloe (also known as the N6 Galway to East Ballinasloe Dual Carriageway)