Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, has marked the return of the power-sharing executive in Northern Ireland by agreeing to release funding for the much delayed Narrow Water cross-border bridge project.

The 280m cable-stayed rolling bascule bridge will open to allow ships to pass through to the Newry Canal. It lies between County Down in Northern Ireland and County Louth in the Republic of Ireland and connects the A2 Newry to Warrenpoint dual carriageway with the R173 Omeath. To promote active travel it will have segregated car, cycle and pedestrian lanes.

CGI design proposal for Narrow Water Bridge between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The proposed design of the Narrow Water Bridge. Credit: Louth County Council

Louth County Council is the lead project partner, managing planning consents, design details and the tender process (link opens in new tab). It will award the contract in the next few months. Also involved is the North South Infrastructure Group, co-chaired by the Department of the Taoiseach and Northern Ireland’s Department of Infrastructure. It also includes representatives from the Department of Housing, Heritage & Local Government, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Louth County Council and the Newry, Mourne & Down District Council.