N18 and M18 reopen after separate incidents

N18 and M18 reopen after separate incidents

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Update:

The N18 on approach to the Limerick Tunnel and the turn off for Limerick City has reopened after this mornings incident.

The M18 between Crusheen and Gort has reopened in both directions after the incident just north of Crusheen.

A 16-kilometre stretch of one of the country’s busiest motorways was closed for over three hours in both directions (Friday) while emergency services dealt with a traffic incident.

The M18 between Crusheen in Co Clare and Gort in Galway was closed after a truck carrying livestock left the road. The truck’s inside wheels were left bogged down in the soft ground inside the hard shoulder leaving the vehicle’s trailer titling dangerously to on side.

The vehicle had to be secured to a tow truck using chains to prevent it from falling onto its side. Then the tow truck spent some time trying to safely pull the cab and trailer back onto solid ground so that the animals could be transferred to another truck which had been requested. A vet was also called to the scene.

Gardaí responded to the incident at around 10.00am while fire crews from Ennis in Co Clare and Gort in Galway were also alerted. Traffic Infrastructure Ireland (TII) maintenance crews also attended the incident.

Traffic was diverted off the route northbound at junction 15 at Crusheen and in the opposite direction at junction 16 at Gort. There was also tailback of traffic for about a kilometre behind the incident however, at around 12.30pm, most of those vehicles were turned around and escorted back along the northbound carriageway to junction 15 so they could exit the motorway.

Trucks too large to turn around on the motorway had to remain where they were until the route had been fully cleared and reopened.

While the incident occurred in the hard-shoulder of the northbound carriageway, a decision was taken to close the southbound lanes also so that the cattle could be safely transferred from one truck to another. There were concerns that the animals might become agitated and escape onto the motorway and into oncoming traffic during the transfer.

Shortly after 1.00pm the truck was pulled clear of the soft ground. Soon afterwards, the southbound lanes of the motorway were reopened. A decision was taken not to transfer the cattle to another truck and the driver was allowed drive to the next exit and leave the motorway.

While road maintenance and fire crews cleared the hard should and lane one of debris, trucks that had been backed up behind the incident were allowed continue their journey.

The M18 northbound was cleared and fully reopened at around 2.00pm.

Meanwhile, the N18 dual-carriageway has been closed on the approach to the Limerick Tunnel and turn off for Limerick City following a collision.

A cement truck has overturned and is blocking the route. The incident occurred at around 10am.

Emergency services including fire crews from Limerick City and Shannon are at the scene. Efforts are under way to remove the cement from the truck before cranes will attempt to right the vehicle again.

Traffic is backed up for several kilometres while Gardaí are working to divert other vehicles away from the area at the Sixmilebridge and Cratloe interchanges.

Efforts are underway to remove the truck.

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