SINN Féin MLA Sinead Ennis called upon Minister Mallon to make public the design options for the Narrow Water Bridge.
Sinead Ennis says the announcement last month that approximately €3m Euros would be allocated from the Shared Island Fund to bring the bridge to tender stage was very much welcome but details on the specific design options should be shared with the public.
The South Down MLA said:
“Minister for Infrastructure, Nichola Mallon should make public the design options for the bridge so that the local community, the Narrow Water Bridge Action Group and all Lough users can be assured that the bridge will fit the needs of Warrenpoint town and the wider South Down area.
“I have written to the Minister numerous times to get clarity on what design options her Department is considering. I’ve made it clear to the Minister that Narrow Water Bridge needs to be accessible for pedestrians, cyclists, cars and tour busses.
“In her written response to me the Minister has confirmed that the bridge will have a span of 195m over the Newry River and will be able to open to allow vessels to pass. It will facilitate road traffic as well as pedestrians and cyclists to safely use the bridge.
“This is welcomed news for Warrenpoint Port and the Kilkeel Harbour given the proposed design won’t hinder the functionality of these vital local industries. It’s also welcome from a tourism and economic perspective.
“The opportunity to grow our unique tourism product in South Down will be boosted significantly with the construction of Narrow Water Bridge. It will increase the opportunity for active travel, create jobs and help attract more visitors and investment into South Down.
Sinéad Ennis continued:
“Narrow Water bridge is a vital piece of all-island infrastructure which will transform the South Down area and is a commitment in the New Decade, New Approach agreement.
"I look forward to more progress to come and will continue to work with both the Irish government and the Department of Infrastructure toward the delivery of this important project.”