Taoiseach to back Narrow Water Bridge project?
Last summer, the proposed Narrow Water Bridge scheme between Omeath, County Louth and Warrenpoint, County Down looked doomed when plans to build the bridge were put on hold due to a funding shortfall - believed to be in the region of at least €10m.
But last month, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said that the cross-border Narrow Water Bridge was still viable - if the Government gets its finger out.
The proposed 195m long Narrow Water cable-stayed bridge has been in planning for over five years and would connect Cornamucklagh near Omeath with Narrow Water near Warrenpoint. When finished, it would be 620m long (it was originally hoped it could be opened by 2015).
€17.4m was allocated from Europe for the project last year. Louth County Council, Newry and Mourne District Council, and Down District Council also put up funding, while the late Edward Haughey had planned to add financial backing, when it all fell through as the tender came in above the estimated cost and EU money was diverted to a different project
However, Labour Senator Jim D’Arcy told The Dundalk Democrat that the political will to revive the project now exists:
“I have been speaking to An Taoiseach and I would expect that at the meeting of the North-South Ministerial body in June, the Government will agree to support and get involved in an application to Special European Programme Body (SEUP) under the next round of funding.
“This is a very significant development. The funding is key to getting the project moving. The last funding was granted under INTEREGG 4 but when the tender came in above the grant application, the funding collapsed.
“I also raised the issue with the North’s First Minister Peter Robinson, and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, at a dinner in Stormont recently. I asked that the Northern Assembly upgraded its support and they have assured me that it will be done.”