Hopes grow proposed Narrow Water bridge could be named after US President Joe Biden

A model's impression of the Narrow Water Bridge
A model's impression of the Narrow Water Bridge

A VISIT by President Joe Biden to the site of a planned bridge knitting north and south together would be hugely symbolic, it has been claimed.

It is hoped it will encourage more support for the bridge at Narrow Water outside Warrenpoint in south Down to be named after the president.

Decades in the planning, the bridge will connect the Mournes and the Cooley Peninsula.

The tender deadline for construction is June 3 and work could start before the end of the year. Managed by Louth County Council, Dublin is picking up the entire estimated £60 million bill.

"This looks like it now is finally happening and it would be very positive if Biden goes to the area. It would be very symbolic," said Jim Blaney, chair of the Narrow Water Bridge Network.

Newry, Mourne and Down Councillor Jarlath Tinnelly said: "I have always said this project has been a bit like the Olympics...rolled out every four years when there was an election. There is a certain amount of momentum and it is more likely than not it is going to happen."

If the president does visit the site, or another part of the area, there could be a way found to calling it the Biden Bridge, council chairman Michael Savage said.

There is also talk on the Cooley Peninsula of naming the bridge after the president as his family on his mother's side are from the area.

Some are opposed to naming the bridge after a political figure with very few links to the area. Narrow Water Bridge, as it has been known in the planning stages locally and beyond, is the preferred option.

While the bridge represents the future, Narrow Water is also synonymous with the IRA ambush that led to the largest single loss of life by the British Army during the Troubles. Eighteen soldiers and one civilian were killed in the August 1979 attack.

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