National Primary Route 18

Status : Complete

M18 Motorway Logo


Opened : 2002 - 2017

Motorway : 73.3 km
HQDC : 13.1 km
Low standard DC : 9.8 km
Inside Limerick Bypass
(formerly part of N18, downgraded June 2010)
Low standard DC : 2.8 km
Single Carriageway : 4.1 km

The N18 is a very important regional strategic route linking the cities of Limerick and Galway via the large town of Ennis and the major airport at Shannon beside the mouth of the eponymous river.

The old route began in Limerick city centre where it crossed the Shannon. As Condell Road, it looped up to the Ennis Road. Turning left, the road reached the townland of Cratloemoyle where Phase 2 of the Limerick Southern Ring Road intersected. This latter project was opened in July 2010 and bypassed the city section. (See the M7 page for more detail). The N18 road then runs for around eight kilometres as a poor-standard dual carriageway, with a lot of hotels and other frontage development. Next the road passes the popular tourist attraction of Bunratty Castle and a few grade separated junctions. At the area known as Hurler's Cross, the road was taken on a new alignment in November 2003 that saw it bypass Shannon. The N19 road, a spur which leads from the N18 through Shannon town to the airport, was also rebuilt nearby as a dual carriageway. The old N19 passed through the town's main street and is now known as R471. Shannon town was a planned town designed to act as a population base for the airport and its nearby industrial zones.

North of here, the new route bypasses (September 2002) the old village of Newmarket-on-Fergus before again bypassing (January 2007) the much larger town of Ennis. The old route wound its way northwest into the town and northeast out of it again, whereas the bypass cuts the corner. The single carriageway N85 route was also replaced with a new alignment that bypassed the town to the west. All of these N18 sections were redesignated motorway in August 2009.

Beyond this point, the old route was a winding, narrow country lane, completely unfit for use as a main road connecting two cities. Another scheme replaced this lane and brought the motorway to Gort in November 2010. By September 2017, the final segment was in place. The Gort-Athenry scheme took the route substantially further to the east, intersecting the M6 motorway to the west of Athenry. From here, the M17 motorway continued the road northwards to Tuam, and a dual carriageway will eventually lead to Sligo.

Update 12/07/2019:

The only active project on this route is the Newmarket-on-Fergus Motorway Service Area, which is still in planning.

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Wikipedia page on this road

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Traffic Counts for this road


Origin Lower Mallow Rd and Dock Rd, Limerick
Terminates M6/M17/M18 junction, east of Galway
Places Served Limerick, Shannon, Ennis, Gort, Oranmore
Routes Spawned M7, M17, N19
Intersects M6


Section km Opening Date Standard
Limerick (SRR) - Hurler's Cross 12.6 1980s D2AP
Jct 10-11 Newmarket on Fergus BP 6 2002-09-30 M (from 2009-08-28)
Jct 9-10 Hurler's Cross (N Section, N of N19) 3.6 2003-11-07 M (from 2009-08-28)
Jct 8-9? Hurler's Cross (S Section, S of N19) 3.1 2003-11-07 HQDC
Hurler's Cross (N19 section) 2.9 2003-11-07 D2AP
Jct 11-14 Ennis BP 14 2007-01-26 M (from 2009-08-28)
Jct 1-4 Limerick BP Ph.2 10 2010-07-27 HQDC
Jct 14-16 Crusheen to Gort 22 2010-11-12 M (from 2009-08-28)
Jct 16-18 Gort to Athenry 27.7 2017-09-27 M
Newmarket-on-Fergus Motorway Service Area MSA

MAP OF M18 :