Narrow Water Bridge will be ‘symbol of hope’, minister says

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the Bridge should take three years to build

By Gráinne Ní Aodha (PA)

The Narrow Water Bridge linking Northern Ireland and the Republic will be a “symbol of hope”, an Irish minister has said.

Taoiseach Simon Harris will be among guests at the commencement announcement at the site of the long-anticipated Narrow Water Bridge on Tuesday.

When complete, the 195m cable-stayed bridge will connect Cornamucklagh near Omeath, Co Louth, with Narrow Water close to Warrenpoint, Co Down, providing a direct link between the Mourne Mountains and the Cooley Peninsula, where Carlingford Lough meets the Newry River.

It will accommodate motor vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles.

The bridge will connect the A2 Newry to Warrenpoint dual carriageway with the R173 at Omeath.

It will also open to allow the passage of ships through and on to the Newry Canal.

An allocation of more than 102 million euro plus VAT is being provided towards the project from the Irish Government’s Shared Island Fund.

The goal of the infrastructure project is to provide increased tourism and connectivity to the east border region.

It is anticipated that it will help economic development and increase employment levels in the area.

The Irish Government said the bridge will be a “lynchpin” connection for cross-border travel.

Mr Harris, Tanaiste Micheal Martin and Minister of State Malcolm Noonan are scheduled to attend the launch with Northern Ireland Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd.

The Taoiseach said: “The mountains meet the sea all along this stretch of stunning coastline and this bridge will be a game-changer for commerce, daily life and tourism in this part of our shared island.”

Mr Martin, who established the Shared Island Unit, said this project “was always front and centre” of his mind.

“This project is a clear physical manifestation of the philosophy underpinning Shared Island,” he said.

“It embodies our ambition for reconciliation, a closer relationship between North and South, and progress.

“Today is the realisation of a vision long shared across this stretch of water, delivering on the desire of both communities to reach out, to connect and to grow together.”

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said: “This bridge will serve not just as a physical infrastructure project but a symbol of community, togetherness and hope.

Mr Noonan added: “The project is already creating new opportunities and deepening connections between communities on both sides of the border.”

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