IRELAND'S newest motorway is set to open today.
The 57km stretch of road in Co. Galway will provide four lanes of traffic from Gort to Tuam, and a major junction with the M6 Galway-Dublin route to the east of Galway city.
The M17/M18 runs, which cost just over half a billion euro, will bypass Tuam, Ardrahan, Claregalway, Kilcolgan, Clarinbridge and Gort.
Transport Infrastructure Ireland said the toll-free road was opening two months ahead of schedule and would cut end-to-end journey times by around 20 minutes.
It will be officially opened by Minister of Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross later today, with cars expected from 3-4pm.
Part of Ireland's Public Private Partnership Scheme, the motorway opening is part of the Atlantic Corridor.
The road, aimed at reducing traffic congestion in Galway city, has been a decade in the planning and took three years to build.