“this Department is not in a position to proceed any further with the Narrow Water Bridge project”

When it was announced in February 2008, the proposed “lovely looking bridge” at Narrow Water, Co Down, to link the Omeath to Newry Road in Co Louth with the A2 Newry to Warrenpoint road, Co Down, produced an unseemly scramble by three then-members of the Northern Ireland Executive.  By contrast, as far as I can tell, the latest news of the project has been met by silence…

From Dáil written answers 5 July

 627.  Deputy Seamus Kirk  Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk   asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport  Information on Leo Varadkar  Zoom on Leo Varadkar   the position regarding the bridge over narrow water project between County Louth and County Down; the timescale for completion of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18207/11]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar  Zoom on Leo Varadkar  The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads in its area, is a statutory function of each road authority in accordance with the provisions of section 13 of the Roads Act, 1993.  Works on such roads are a matter for the relevant local authority to be funded from its own resources supplemented by State road grants.

Louth County Council submitted an economic appraisal and the completed Environmental Impact Assessment of the proposed Narrow Water Bridge project to the National Roads Authority (NRA). These reports were reviewed by NRA on behalf of my Department and the NRA recently submitted their report with recommendations in relation to this project. I have examined this report and recommendations and based on the economic appraisal, the current financial circumstances, competing demands from other local authorities for strategic schemes which have a better benefit/cost ratio, this Department is not in a position to proceed any further with the Narrow Water Bridge project, and beyond 2011 no further funding will be made available for it. [added emphasis]

, , , , , , , , , ,

  • OneNI

    This scheme was always in the ‘nice to have not essential category’
    Can we look forward to a similiar downgrade to the A5 Vanity Project?

  • grandimarkey

    For feck sake!

    I’m only the tender age of 24 but since I was a young sprite running round the beach in Warrenpoint (of which I am a native) I was privy to the council talking and talking and talking about this bridge being built. Talking is all it ever was.

    On return home for the amazing Warrenpoint Blues on the Bay festival this year I noticed the beginnings of construction in the water and rejoiced. Finally! The town of Omeath is which merely half a mile away over a stretch of water would be accessible, we’d be neighbours without having to travel all the way to the traffic-addled Newry and back down the other side! The cross-border traffic which is making The Quays in Newry the richest shopping centre in the UK would come our way, the whole South Down area would feel a substantial boost as well as the starved border area of Louth, slightly cheaper petrol for us, massively cheaper booze for them. The pubs would be rammed with folk and the petrol stations would have cues a mile long.

    Now we’re back to talking…

  • If they can’t have a bridge, how about a ferry? At least in the summer tourist season.

  • grandimarkey,

    I love a good bridge project as much as the next man, but thinking that cross-border traffic would divert from Newry to Warrenpoint is a pipe dream. The bridge is not well-connected to anything other than Omeath on the southern side, unless you were also to build a road over the Cooley mountains. The Newry southern bypass project is probably of more use to Warrenpoint – at least it connects to the Dublin road.

  • JR

    Thats a real pity, I myself am a native of Rostrevor and would have loved to have seen the bridge. I think it would have turned two semi viable tourist areas into one great one.

    The real defeat of this bridge has come from Newry. They want a southern relief road instead. Going from the Clogue roundabout to the Warrenpoint road near Pairc Esler.

    It would have provided a quick road home for me too, Omeath is less than 10 min from Jonesborough.

  • Angry Planner

    The Newry Southern Relief Road is another pipe dream, as mentioned above the site is immediately adjacent to the Cooley Mountains and the gradients that any road up to the Flagstaff would have would be severe.

    It would be better to upgrade the road from Newry to Carlingford which is currently a death trap.

  • The gradient would only be severe if you attacked it head on. Wesley Johnston has a breakdown here:

    http://www.wesleyjohnston.com/roads/newrysouthernreliefroad.html

    Note that the two most likely route corridors share an oblique approach to the hillside.

  • SwissArmy

    OneNI,

    “A5 VAnity Project”?

    Care to expand or explain?