‘Work Is Underway’ on Boris Johnson’s Bridge Linking Great Britain with Northern Ireland

TOPSHOT - A view of an artificial island along the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge in Zhuhai on March 28, 2018. - Officials say the bridge, billed as the world's longest sea bridge connecting Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China, will boost business and cut travel time, but opponents in Hong Kong …
PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images

A Downing Street spokesman has confirmed that “work is underway” on planning Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proposed bridge linking Great Britain with Northern Ireland.

As a part of his post-Brexit infrastructure plans, Boris Johnson has reintroduced his idea of a £20 billion bridge that would connect Scotland to Northern Ireland. The project is expected to be modelled on the Øresund Bridge that links Copenhagen, Denmark, and Malmö, Sweden.

“The prime minister has said it would have some merit — as a result, you would expect government to be looking into it,” said a spokesman per the BBC.

“Work is underway by a range of government officials,” the spokesman concluded.

The bridge would likely span from Portpatrick in Scotland to Larne, Northern Ireland, and is expected to run for approximately 20 miles, according to a report by the Daily Mail.

Engineers are considering a bridge-tunnel split in order to mitigate any danger posed by Beaufort’s Dyke, the site of the UK’s largest munitions dump, where some 1 million tonnes of chemical and other munitions were dumped following the Second World War. The plans could also see the construction of artificial islands to help span the North Channel.

The move by Boris Johnson is seen as an attempt to solidify the post-Brexit relationship between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, as well as a means of stimulating economic growth through increased trade.

It comes as the prime minister is announcing a swath of spending projects throughout the UK, including the HS2 high-speed rail network and up to ten new “free ports”.

A bridge of this magnitude is not without precedent; at 20 miles long, it would be ten miles shorter than the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau bridge-tunnel system in China (pictured, above) that crosses 30 miles of water. The longest oversea bridge is the 22.4-mile Hangzhou Bay Bridge and the longest bridge in the world is the 102-mile Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge, both of which are in China.

In response to the announcement that the bridge would be built from Scotland, the leader of the Brexit Party, Nigel Farage, said: “This is crazy. What about the North of England?”

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka

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