Construction of Narrow Water Bridge to begin within months 

June 4, 2013

‘Bridge will provide catalyst for economic development and tourism’

Construction on the much-anticipated Narrow Water Bridge is expected to begin by late summer, pending finalization of the finer details of the scheme.  This follows the approval by Finance Minister Sammy Wilson of Stormont’s share of the funding – £2.7million, announced last Tuesday.

The company chosen to implement the scheme will likely be revealed later this month.  At present there is a shortlist of five companies at tender stage for the construction of the cross-border bridge.

Newry and Mourne District Council will be responsible for the operational costs associated with the project while Louth County Council will meet cost overruns and pay all maintenance costs.

There has been huge positive reaction to the news that the scheme has finally gotten the green light with Mayor John McArdle saying the construction of the bridge will mark “an historic event” in the history of the Island of Ireland.

“The Narrow Water Bridge will symbolise decades of cross border co operation between the communities of Newry and Mourne and Louth county and will copper-fasten links established in the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Newry and Mourne and Louth Local Authorities in 2011,” he said.

“The bridge will also bring significant social and economic benefits to the region and, indeed, to the island of Ireland.  As well as construction jobs in the short term, the bridge will boost the local tourism industry and will build upon recent investments in the region including the Mountain Bike trails at Kilbroney and the Slieve Gullion Adventure Play Park in south Armagh.”

Mayor McArdle congratulated his colleagues in Newry and Mourne District, as well as Louth county council and the East Border Region Committee for bringing the project to fruition.

“We look forward with renewed optimism to the delivery of the Narrow Water Bridge project and we will continue to work with Louth and the East Border region and with local businesses to grow tourism in the region,” he added.

As lead partner in the Narrow Water Bridge project, East Border Region Chairman Gerald Mallon, welcomed the Minister’s decision to grant the extra funding.

“The Narrow Water Bridge is a genuinely symbolic cross border project providing the first bridge linking Ireland and Northern Ireland and will provide a catalyst for both Economic development and Tourism within the region,” he said.

“The Bridge development will provide much needed jobs in the construction sector in the short term and will undoubtedly enhance the tourism potential of the region as it acts as a gateway to the Mournes and Cooley Mountains.  It is an honour for me as Chair of East Border Region to oversee the implementation of this project which will leave a lasting legacy across the region.”

East Border Region will be responsible for the financial management financial management and adherence to INTERREG regulations.

The bridge has a completion date of June 2015.