Minister for Infrastructure Nichola Mallon MLA and Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD today visited Narrow Water and met with local stakeholders to provide an update on their shared vision and determination to deliver the iconic Narrow Water Bridge.
Following the investment from the Taoiseach’s Shared Island Unit, a working group has been set up tasked with driving forward delivery of the project and Minister Mallon has confirmed that her Department is working with partners on further proposals for complementary walking and cycling infrastructure to enhance connectivity to the new bridge and maximise the tourism potential in this area of outstanding beauty.
Minister Mallon said:
“Minister O’Brien and I are committed to partnership working North and South and to the delivery of the iconic Narrow Water Bridge. Today we met with local partners and stakeholders in the area who have faithfully campaigned for this Bridge, to provide an update on the work now started by the taskforce set up to drive this forward. This is positive progress and my officials will continue to work closely with our partners to ensure that all the steps necessary to turn this project from concept to reality are quickly put in place.
“I have also made it clear that my vision for this area of outstanding natural beauty includes the provision of new and enhanced walking and cycling infrastructure to complement the Narrow Water Bridge. I am delighted that my Department is now working with partners on plans to transform active travel in the area. This transformative project will not only open up connectivity in the area but it will benefit our island economy and tourism offering.”
Minister O’Brien said:
“The Narrow Water Bridge has been a Government priority for many years and I am very pleased that through the Shared Island Fund, this project is progressing in earnest. Local authorities in the east border region have played a key role in advocating for the Narrow Water Bridge over the past five decades, recognising the huge symbolic, economic and social importance of the project to the people living there We all appreciate the significance of this project and eagerly await construction beginning in 2023.”
Notes to editors:
- The Narrow Water Bridge has been a longstanding commitment of the Irish Government and is a key commitment in the New Decade New Approach Agreement.
- Planning permission is in place for a distinctive 280m cable stayed bridge, anchored by two towers at either end, for car and cycle traffic. It will connect the A2 Newry to Warrenpoint dual carriageway with the R173 Omeath and will have the ability to open to allow for passage of ships through and on to the Newry Canal.
- The bridge will provide access to a range of cross border active travel and recreational activities including greenways, mountain bike trails, walking routes and beaches.
- Subject to the completion of all the required statutory processes, construction of the project could begin in 2023.
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