LOUTH TDs have expressed their concern at the lack of progress on the Narrowater bridge, which has entered something of a funding twilight zone.
Both Gerry Adams and Seamus Kirk have voiced their concern at the bridge project, which has had a mulititude of false dawns over the course of the last decade.
Adams has welcomed the meeting between Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Sinn Fein representatives and business representatives, including South Down MLA Caitriona Ruane, on the future of the Narrow Water Bridge project.
Teachta Adams has now received letters from each of the two Ministers responsible for the Bridge development in which they assure him that ‘there is no delay’ on their part in progressing the necessary legislation and permissions.
The Minister for Finance and Personnel, DUP Minister Sammy Wilson states that his ‘officials are aware of the tight timescale associated with the potential funding for the project and will aim to deliver a decision in a timely manner.’
Teachta Adams said: “There is a time limited window in which to get this important infrastructural project completed. Narrow Water Bridge is a crucial investment project that can significantly enhance the local economies of communities on both sides of the border.
Meanwhile, Deputy Kirk says that An Taoiseach needs to step to get the project over the line.
“I would urge the Taoiseach to personally engage in this matter now and make personal contact and assert the government’s commitment to the bridge and desire to see its construction proceed as quickly as possible.
“The bridge at Narrow Water linking County Louth and County Down was first proposed in the mid-1970s and received significant support from Fianna Fáil in government, including a major funding commitment. I am extremely anxious to see this project delivered for the communities on both sides.
“The European Union has generously provided significant sums for the construction of the bridge with the remainder to come from the Irish government and the Northern executive.
“I believe the time has now come for Minister Sammy Wilson to give the green light and allow this important project to proceed. I have previously raised this matter directly with the Minister and I believe there is progress to be made.”