The holding of a public enquiry if there are objections could place the Narrow Water bridge project in jeopardy because of the tight deadline to have it completed.
Louth County Council was told that the project has to be completed by June 2015 when updated on the situation regarding the proposed building of the new bridge between Narrow Water and Omeath.
However, Council Senior Engineer Gerry Kelly was hopeful that there would be a positive outcome to allow the award of a contract in time to meet the deadline.
He advised the April monthly meeting of the council that the bridge order will be advertised in the next couple of weeks, and the closing date for objections and comments from the public was the end of May.
It was open to statutory bodies and members of the public to object and such an eventuality would require a public enquiry to be held. It’s understood that could take up to nine months to complete.
Mr Kelly didn’t think there would be a statutory objection, and the grounds on which the public can object were in respect of interference with navigation. Since it was an open bridge most small vehicles could pass.
At the end of last year, the European special programmes body awarded multi-million euro funding for the project and Louth County Council have already approved around €1.7 million of funding for their part of the bridge building.
But the project is waiting for a similar amount of cash to be released from the North’s finance department and Mr Kelly was hopeful of that.