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The bridge will link Omeath in Co Louth with Warrenpoint in Co Down Louth County Council
narrow water bridge

'Symbolic' cross-border bridge linking Louth to Down put out to tender

The Narrow Water Bridge will link the Mourne Mountains in Co Down and the Cooley Peninsula in Co Louth.

LAST UPDATE | 18 Nov 2022

A PLAN TO build a bridge linking the Mourne Mountains in Co Down and the Cooley Peninsula in Co Louth has been put out to tender.

Planning permission is in place for a 280-metre cable-stayed bridge, anchored by two towers at either end, for car and cycle traffic.

The proposed Narrow Water Bridge would connect the A2 Newry to Warrenpoint dual carriageway in Northern Ireland with the R173 at Omeath in the Republic, and would have the ability to allow for passage of ships through the Newry Canal.

The estimated cost ranges from around €26 million to €40 million, but the final figure will not be confirmed until tenders are submitted.

The long-awaited project has been discussed for decades and was part of a deal between the Irish Government and the political parties in Northern Ireland that led to the restoration of power sharing at Stormont in January 2020, before it collapsed again.

In June 2021, the Government announced €3 million from the Shared Island Fund to progress work on the cross-border bridge.

In a statement released by the Government today, a spokesperson said this money “has enabled Louth County Council, working with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council to bring the project to tender stage”.

Speaking today, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: “I am delighted that the Narrow Water Bridge is now proceeding to tender stage.

“This is an important and symbolic project for the northeast, directly connecting the Cooley Peninsula to coastal Co Down, and a project with strong support from communities on both sides of the border.

“The project also brings significant tourism and economic benefits to the region. Along with improving north-south connectivity, the bridge will be at the heart of a range of cross-border greenways, active travel, recreation and outdoor activity amenities planned for the Carlingford Lough area.”

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, added that he wanted “to pay tribute to Louth County Council and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council for their determination and dedication to this project”.

“It is through their cooperation and local expertise that we are able to bring the Narrow Water Bridge to tender.

“This is a huge day for communities in Cooley, Warrenpoint and Newry. Narrow Water Bridge has been talked about for decades, and is now finally becoming a reality, thanks to the work of local community groups, the two councils and the Shared Island Fund.”

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