No cash, but planning, for Narrow Water Bridge

LOUTH County Council will proceed with the planning process for the construction of a bridge at Narrow Water in order that the council can avail of funding available for planning the project.

LOUTH County Council will proceed with the planning process for the construction of a bridge at Narrow Water in order that the council can avail of funding available for planning the project.

But the whole thing is still a long way from ever seeing the light of day.

The Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has basically told the council there is no money for a bridge.

The minister said he was impressed with the ongoing commitment to the Narrow Water Bridge project.

However, the Government’s Capital Investment Plan only provides sufficient funds for a very limited number of major road or bridge projects leading up to 2016, and many projects have been suspended or withdrawn from planning.

Most of those already in the pipeline score much higher than the Narrow Water Bridge project, yet even they will not be built in this decade.

The minister said the county council does not need his authorisation to proceed with further planning for the project.

If the project is to get Interreg funding, the authorities in the North would have to pay 75 per cent of the cost, but so far they have not indicated they are prepared to do so.

Interreg is an EU funded programme to help different European regions form partnerships and work together on common projects.

If the Northern authorities were to make a commitment to the Narrow Water project and Intereg funding was secured, the Government here would contribute €1.5 million euro.

That would be the limit of its contribution.