Northern Ireland news

Tender process launched for construction of long-awaited Narrow Water Bridge project

The new development comes following years of uncertainty for the bridge
Suzanne McGonagle

A TENDER process for construction of the long-awaited Narrow Water Bridge project is to be launched today.

It comes after the Irish government last year allocated €3 million in fresh funding from the Shared Island Fund to help kick-start the scheme.

The new development today comes following years of uncertainty for the bridge, which would span the picturesque lough between Omeath in Co Louth and Narrow Water Castle near Warrenpoint, Co Down.

The funding has enabled Louth County Council, working with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council to bring the project to tender stage.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he is "delighted that the Narrow Water Bridge is now proceeding to tender stage".

"This is an important and symbolic project for the north-east, directly connecting the Cooley Peninsula to coastal Co Down, and a project with strong support from communities on both sides of the border," he said.

"The project also brings significant tourism and economic benefits to the region.

"Along with improving north-south connectivity, the bridge will be at the heart of a range of cross-border greenways, active travel, recreation and outdoor activity amenities planned for the Carlingford Lough area.

"Today’s announcement is an important next step in the delivery of this long-awaited project and another example of the Shared Island Fund in action."

Michael Savage, chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down district council, said it is a "momentous step forward for the Narrow Water Bridge project".

"This successful experience in cross-border co-operation will help to deliver a wide range of social and economic benefits for the entire region of Newry, Mourne and Down and the Cooley Peninsula," he said.

"The launch of the tender process will be welcomed by local communities who will enjoy new recreation and active travel opportunities and benefit from further enhancement of the area’s rich tourism offering."

Joan Martin, chief executive of Louth County Council, said the project will "deliver an unprecedented boost to the north-east region as a whole and will complement tourism and active travel initiatives" in the cross-border area.

"This project has long been a strategic priority, improving access, strengthening north-south links and deepening connections between communities on both sides of the border," he said.

Northern Ireland news