THE LONG awaited Narrow Water bridge which will connect north Louth with south Down has moved a step closer when Louth County Council lodged the planning application with the planning authorities in Northern Ireland for the €20million project last Friday.
The council has also published the Compulsory Purchase Order for the project which would see them acquire land from several landowners at Cornamucklagh so that the access road to the bridge can be built on the Omeath side of the Lough.
The scheme will provide a new single carriageway link between Omeath and Warrenpoint. The bridge will connect the R173 Omeath Road and the A2 dual carriageway across the Newry River at Narrow Water.
A new roundabout will be constructed at the junction with the R173 Omeath Road and the existing A2 roundabout will be upgraded to accommodate the required additional arm.
Securing Interreg Funding is crucial to the project going ahead and County Manager Mr Conn Murray has stated that this is a priority for the council.
Speaking at the monthly meeting of the local authority, Cllr Declan Breathnach welcomed these developments and complimented the management team on progressing the project. He said he understood there was a timescale involved regarding possible funding and he urged them to make provision for detailed design so that they can avail of the funding.
Director of Service Ms Joan Martin said that the CPO will be issued to all landowners affected and will be lodged with An Bord Pleanala.
All the information along with the Environmental Impact Survey will be on public display in County Hall from Wednesday (today).
It was, she said, 'a very important project' and she assured members that the local authority will continue to pursue funding for the project.