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Narrow Water Bridge Project Reaches New Milestone

Another milestone has been reached in progressing the Narrow Water Bridge Project with the commencement of an advanced works contract for the construction of a compensatory bird roost site. Further to the milestones achieved this year such as Northern Ireland Bridge Orders taking effect and Louth County Council issuing a Prior Information Notice (PIN) to national and European Tendering Portals; the construction of the roost site will see the commencement of physical works on the ground. These works will commence mid-August on the site and conclude by September, allowing birds to populate the area for a complete season in advance of beginning the main bridge construction works.

In July 2021, the Taoiseach announced €3 million in funding from the Shared Island fund to advance this cross-border project, based on the current design of the bridge and existing planning permission. As a result, it is anticipated that Louth County Council will issue tender documents for construction of the bridge in Q4 of this year, subject to obtaining Government approval.

Louth County Council is the lead project partner, considering their experience with the project, and a sub-group of the North-South Infrastructure Group has been established to oversee the development of the project, co-chaired by Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Infrastructure. The group, which includes the Department of Housing, Heritage and Local Government, Department of Foreign Affairs, Louth County Council and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, has held nine meetings to-date.

By linking the Mourne Mountains with the Cooley Peninsula, the bridge will boost tourism and connectivity along the East Border region, acting as an enabler for other active travel initiatives in the area, such as the Carlingford-Newry Greenway and the proposed Warrenpoint-Newry Greenway.

The project itself consists of a new cable-stayed bridge with rolling bascule opening span crossing over the Newry River to the north of Carlingford Lough. The single carriageway road and bridge, which have a combined length of 600m, will link the R173 Omeath – Newry Road in Co. Louth with the A2 Newry – Warrenpoint Road in Co. Down. The bridge has an 20m clear span opening section to facilitate the passage of marine traffic, including tall ships.

The Narrow Water Bridge is a true all-island project, with strong cross-party political support both North and South. It will open up new and exciting opportunities, with huge potential for the local and wider economy.

(ENDs)

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