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It appears that when costings were submitted for the Belfast Regional City Deal that a figure of £25 Million was included for a lifting/ opening bridge in the overall estimated cost of £110M for the Newry Southern Relief Road project.

It's not know if this scenario is still being pursued but local groups have been adamant that an opening bridge is the only option that should be considered.

As part of a Freedom of Information request to both Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and Belfast City Council Newry.ie asked for project costings and details of the type of bridge proposed as below.

For tall ships to continue to be able to visit Newry, an opening bridge needs to be part of the Newry Southern Relief Road project. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
For tall ships to continue to be able to visit Newry, an opening bridge needs to be part of the Newry Southern Relief Road project. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

1: Any costings/ suggested costings submitted to the Belfast City Deal Proposal for the Southern Relief Road project part of the proposal, including total cost and breakdown of the costs.

We speciffically  asked them to include any costing submitted for the proposed road Bridge over Newry Canal and Clanrye River as part of the Southern Relief Road.

Finally we asked for:

2: Any detailing of the type of bridge proposed for the Southern Relief Road in all council documentation relating to the Belfast City Deal proposal, specifically if the bridge proposed is Fixed or Opening and if Fixed what height was proposed.

Both replied with slightly different answers although they both stated that "To inform the development of the Belfast Region City Deal submission, the Department for Infrastructure submitted high level cost information relating to the Southern Relief Road, as part of the completion of a Strategic Outline Business Case.  Indicative costs at this stage (without the completion of a full business case) are £110m which includes £25m for a lifting bridge."

In reply to 2 Belfast City Council said

"Any documentation received as part of the Belfast Region City Deal proposal relating to the Southern Relief Road did not detail information relating to the type of bridge proposed. The costing provided makes reference to a £25m estimate for a lifting/opening bridge, however the project design is subject to further development"

Newry, Mourne and Down added that "The Department for Infrastructure will be the lead Department in taking this project forward through the City Deal process, which will include further development of this project."

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