Full approval for new Lagan Bridge between Ormeau Park and Gasworks 'almost there'

By Connor Lynch

Full approval for a new bridge over the River Lagan is "almost there", according to Belfast City Council officials.

The bridge from the entrance of Ormeau Park to the Gasworks in South Belfast is part of a series of investment projects that are to be included in the Belfast Region City Deal.

Once signed off the deal will see around £1billion invested into Northern Ireland, with £350million coming from the government, in order to develop 20 different projects focusing on tourism, infrastructure, regeneration, innovation and employability skills.

The Lagan bridge is one of three infrastructure projects that are included in the deal alongside phase two of the Belfast Rapid Transit project and the creation of a Southern Relief Road in Newry.

The Department for Infrastructure has said that once approved in the deal, the bridge will take three years to complete.

A spokesperson said: "The Lagan Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge is one of several infrastructure, tourism and regeneration projects being considered as part of the Belfast Region City Deal.

"The project is at an advanced stage, with planning permission and other statutory approvals in place, however delivery of the bridge will be dependent on inclusion and prioritisation of the project within BRCD.

"In relation to timelines, following allocation of funding it is estimated that it will take approximately three years to complete the procurement, detailed design and construction phases of the project."

Phase two of the BRT project or the North/South Glider expansion has already taken steps forward in its development following the launch of a public consultation in July.

If successful, it is hoped that the expansion will be launched by 2027.

The Newry Southern Relief Road is planned to ease congestion around the city and improve the flow of transport from Belfast to Dublin.

The road will extend from the A1 Belfast to Dublin Road, south of Newry to the A2 Newry to Warrenpoint dual carriageway.

Belfast City Council officials involved in the City Deal have said that it is "almost there" and could be finalised in the coming months and they are currently "crossing the Ts and dotting the Is on the business cases".

The local authority is partnering with five partner councils, the region’s two universities and four of the region’s further education colleges in order to carry out the deal.

Further projects will include regeneration work in Newry, Bangor and Carrickfergus, along with investment into some of Northern Ireland's most popular tourist destinations and investment into employability and innovation in order to ensure that the projects can be successfully carried out.

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