Construction of the Narrow Water Bridge Has Begun

June 6, 2024

H&H, in partnership with Roughan & O’Donovan (ROD), is pleased to announce the start of construction on Narrow Water Bridge, which will connect The Republic of Ireland with Northern Ireland. On June 4th, ROD welcomed Taoiseach, Mr. Simon Harris, TD, and Tánaiste, Mr. Micheál Martin, TD, for a sod-turning event to mark the commencement of construction.

The highly anticipated and symbolic cross-border infrastructure project features a new cable-stayed rolling bascule bridge connecting Drummullagh to Warrenpoint over the Newry River. As part of the original design team, led by ROD, H&H provided movable bridge engineering for the conceptual design development of the new structure. In 2022, The EU, Northern Ireland, and Louth County Council announced joint funding of the Narrow Water Bridge tender process through the Shared Island Initiative.

The structure will include vehicular, pedestrian, and cyclist access, strengthening North-South links and connecting communities on both sides of the Newry River. Narrow Water Bridge features two primary adjoining structures, a 138.4m fixed cable-stayed structure and a 56.8m cable-stayed movable bridge spanning the navigable channel of the Newry River. The movable span is a rolling bascule-type structure whereby the bridge rolls to open or close for traffic. This motion results in the rotation of the bascule leaf about a transverse axis while simultaneously translating lengthwise to permit the opening of the bridge for marine traffic.

The two primary girders of the movable span are arranged as a J-shape with the bridge section forward the centre of roll fitted with an orthotropic deck surface and the heel section filled with counterweight ballast. The bridge features a unique, mechanically actuated compensating nose joint that eliminates the gap between the fixed and movable spans, thereby allowing safe passage for pedestrians and cyclists. The bascule span’s opening and closing operation is enabled by two electrohydraulic cylinders oriented below the superstructure of the bridge.