Newry Southern Relief Road: ‘Further Heritage Consultation is key to bridge solution’ – SDLP | News in Newry | Latest Newry News, Newry Sport and Newry Business for Newry City

Newry Southern Relief Road: ‘Further Heritage Consultation is key to bridge solution’ – SDLP | News in Newry

The solution to an opening bridge on Newry’s proposed Southern Relief Road lies in detailed consultation with Heritage officials the SDLP has said.


Further Heritage Consultation is key to bridge solution - SDLP | News in Newry - newry news


Speaking after Department officials addressed Councillors at a special council meeting on Thursday evening, Newry Councillor Michael Savage says, “The Department for Infrastructure needs to engage in more detailed consultation with Heritage and Environment officials (HED) to secure a non-fixed bridge engineering solution to the proposed Southern Relief Road.

“While I appreciate the time taken by Department officials to advise of the challenges facing the delivery of the Southern Relief Road and appreciate the need for us to move as quickly as possible to deliver this much-needed scheme, I am disappointed that there appears to be no willingness to come up with a non-fixed bridge engineering solution to the road.

“In the presentation from the DFI engineers, it appears that the cheapest option of providing a nonfixed bridge solution would be in the region of £10.4 million based on a 20-metre span across Newry Canal.

“And that is why I believe this option needs to be exhausted and further discussed with the Heritage and Environment Division as while we need to protect the historic monument status of Newry Canal we also need to protect its tourism potential.


It's Time for Giant Events - EAB(1)


“Officials have told us that they have to consider the heritage of the built structure of the canal and also the functionality of the canal.

“I believe more must be done to protect the functionality of the canal and get the balance right.

“HED consultation has the potential to unlock the potential for an opening bridge solution.”

Cllr Doire Finn adds, “This option needs to be further explored in a transparent manner so that the strong local lobby for an opening bridge can see that the most viable and cost-effective option has been seriously considered in a fully consultative way encompassing all tourism potential, environmental and engineering considerations.

“I believe a full formal HED consultation is crucial as it will determine if those responsible for the heritage and protection of Ireland’s oldest navigational canal view the protection of the structure with the impact of the 20-metre span as more important than the protection of the functionality of the canal.

“That is why this element needs to be exhausted and taken fully into account.

“If this is done now it may either remove this option as a serious concern and potentially remove it as a catalyst for a Public Inquiry or put this option as a serious design option in the final bridge design.

“We need to ensure that we have no regrets when the first sod is cut on this much-needed project.”

The SDLP says it will continue to pursue an engineering solution that protects the tourism potential of Newry Canal, the Albert Basin and our City’s Waterways.


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Posted by on Sep 7 2023. Filed under Community, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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