15 October 2012
Authorities in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have now approved plans for a a cable-stayed bascule bridge that will provide a cross-border link.
Northern Ireland’s environment minister Alex Attwood' grant of planning permission last week has now been followed by approval from the Republic of Ireland authority An Bord Pleanála.
The decision is still awaited on a separate application that has been submitted in the Republic of Ireland.
The single-carriageway Narrow Water Bridge spans 300m over the River Newry and has a rolling bascule opening span. Roughan & O'Donovan (ROD) has been engaged by Louth County Council to provide engineering consultancy from the project’s early stages through to detailed design and construction supervision. ROD is working on the opening mechanism with experienced movable bridge designer Hardesty & Hanover in New York.
Opening the bridge will enable tall ships, leisure craft and other marine vessels access to the Victoria Lock and the Albert Basin in Newry. The bridge will also act as a gateway to the Mourne and Cooley Mountains.
"This will be a tremendous boost for the South Down/North Louth area,” said Attwood. “Narrow Water Bridge will be the most significant infrastructure project in the border region for many years. Indeed, it will be the first North South bridge since Partition. I hope that a similarly positive decision will come from planning authorities in the Republic soon in relation to the southern end of the Narrow Water.”
The project is seeking US$27.6 million in funding through the Special EU Projects Body.