FINANCE Minister Sammy Wilson has given the go ahead for funding for a new £14m cross-border bridge.
The Narrow Water bridge is to link the counties of Down and Louth across Carlingford Lough.
The scheme will be subject to various conditions in relation to its upkeep by Newry and Mourne Council as well as Louth County Council.
The bridge is to be 660 metres (2,165 feet) long across the Newry river channel.
“Funding of £14m for the Narrow Water bridge has now been given approval subject to clarification on technical conditions applicable to the Letter of Offer,” Mr Wilson said.
“As with any project offer, the Letter of Offer for the Narrow Water bridge Project will include a number of important conditions.
“One such condition is a commitment by Louth County Council that they will have sole responsibility for any cost overruns associated within the eligible spend timeframe and in the event that the project would extend outside this period.
“Louth County Council shall also meet all the maintenance and associated costs related to the upkeep of the bridge and its service area.”
The decision has been welcomed by local politicians.
SDLP south Down MP Margaret Ritchie said the NarrowWaterBridge project was “a shining example of how far we have come as a community and in North South relations”.
Sinn Fein south Down MLA Caitriona Ruane says the Narrow Water Bridge will open up the area and ” create a gateway to Mournes and Carlingford Lough” for businesses and tourists.