More than a decade ago the think tank the Centre for Cross Border Studies suggested a 21-mile bridge from Dumfries and Galloway could provide international rail links and ease the strain on air services. It's understood one of the options being considered is a bridge which turns into a tunnel, before reverting to a bridge. Dunlop says his route would cross to the north of this, however, where the sea is shallower. A new bridge linking Scotland and Northern Ireland could see the two islands getting much closer. Mr Johnson has previously put a price of "about £15bn" on building a bridge which could stretch from Portpatrick in Scotland to Larne in Northern Ireland - … However, some political will has emerged in recent years. Boris Johnson and Arlene Foster are both supporters of a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland However, Mr Duncan argues in his letter that a bridge has … And the engineering involved would be more than a little complicated. We have also seen a small scale political drama relating to suggestions that serious consideration be given to building a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland. Oresund Bridge, linking Sweden to Denmark, submerged tube – effectively a tunnel under water. He suggested two routes: a 12-mile crossing that spans the shortest gap between the two countries – Mull of Kintyre in Scotland to Torr Head, Northern Ireland. Although the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is eight miles longer than the proposed Portpatrick-Larne link – and is indeed the longest open-sea fixed crossing in the world – its span is interrupted by four artificial islands, for which the Irish Sea is too deep. "We are always keen to talk about how we can strengthen connections between Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland," a spokesman said. The first would make the bridge roughly 35.4 kilometres (22 miles long); the second route is separated by a shorter 19.3 kilometres (12 miles) stretch of … There are worries the Portpatrick-Larne route might have to cross a huge undersea trench called Beaufort’s Dyke, up to 300 metres at its deepest section and, according to the Ministry of Defence, filled with over a million tons of dumped munitions from the Second World War, as well as radioactive material. Featuring a railway and motorway, it first stretches on a cable-stayed bridge almost five miles from the Swedish coast to an artificial island called Peberholm before continuing to the Danish coast through a concrete tunnel set into a trench in the seabed. When I worked as a regional sales manager for GEC. Both the Treasury and the Department for Transport have been asked to look into the financial side of the project. The prime minister's official spokesman said there was a "proper piece of work" being carried out by a "range of government officials". around 30 vessels a day, according to the Marine Management Organisation. He even has experience in Scotland with the Queensferry Crossing over the Firth of Forth. The Homer M Hadley floating bridge carries the Interstate 90 across Lake Washington, Washington state. “The substructures would be constructed in a dry dock, floated out to the site, and then lowered into position. ), There are pros and cons to both types of submerged tubes. The distance of the bridge would be 12 miles at its narrowest, while one of the most likely routes for the bridge between Larne in Northern Ireland and Portpatrick in Scotland, is about 28 miles. The shipping density in this part of the Irish Sea (The North Channel) is around 30 vessels a day, according to the Marine Management Organisation. However, one of the UK's leading architects Prof Alan Dunlop told Channel 4 News there would always be "naysayers". Ireland was part of my area. Between logistics and costs, some have dismissed the scheme as unlikely to ever happen. Scotland emerged from the First and Second Wars of Scottish Independen… And a bridge across the 28mile gap between Scotland Northern Ireland has been a plan of his for some time. Large pre-fabricated deck units would also be brought to site on barges and lifted into place.” Prefabrication on land would make the bridge more durable, he says, with a possible lifespan of 150 years or more. The problem is the cost which would be incredible, even without the towers.” (Although he adds that he hasn’t “the slightest idea” what that cost might be. The southern route, which would be closer to Belfast and Scotland’s Central Belt is more practical, given the existing road infrastructure on both sides. It credits the 36km (22.4 mile) Hangzhou Bay Bridge as the structure spanning the greatest expanse of open sea. “I don’t think there’s been any bridge built with that much depth.”. As he points out, the Irish Sea ferries are expensive, especially for freight traffic. Though such long-distance bridges are used in other areas of the world, the case for an Ireland-UK bridge has been deemed impractical due to the depth of the water between Ireland and Scotland… VideoLong watch: Is this Russian cult leader a fraud? Now politicians across the Irish Sea want a 25-mile link between Northern Ireland and Scotland. Both styles would be supported by towers standing on top of oil-rig-style frames. .css-1snjdh1-IconContainer{display:none;height:0.875em;width:0.875em;vertical-align:-0.0625em;margin-right:0.25em;}Long watch: Is this Russian cult leader a fraud? It was believed that the bridge, which would go between Portpatrick in Scotland to Larne in Northern Ireland would … Boris Johnson’s proposal to link the two countries with a road crossing over the Irish Sea would, most experts agree, cost a lot more than the £15 billion he is suggesting. Of course lake waters are far less choppy than those on the Irish Sea. “But we have the technology and the talent in Ireland and Scotland to create something as potentially brilliant as this.”, Inevitably, Dunlop’s design has had more than a little scorn poured on it. If there’s still the political and financial appetite after the £1.5 billion in bills have been settled, Rogfast could be the first link in a non-stop road route all the way up Norway’s west coast, with the current fjord ferries eventually replaced by a network of bridges, tunnels beneath the fjord beds, and tunnels submerged below the water surface. A series of floating bridges are found on the lake, the longest of their kind on the world. “I’m convinced it’s doable,” he says. This route would be approximately twice the distance of the English Channel Tunnel at 62 miles (100 km). "This PM has made no secret of his support for infrastructure projects that increase connectivity for people and particularly those that strengthen the Union.". He has worked on some of the most challenging sea bridges on the planet. David Davis poured cold water on the idea, saying to Sky News: “He wants to cancel HS2 and spend it … Alan Dunlop is a Scottish architect who, in 2018, was commissioned by a newspaper to analyse the feasibility of such a project. Depending on the number of traffic lanes, he estimates this to be between £20 billion and £30 billion. In my opinion no. At its shortest, the distance between Scotland and Northern Ireland is 12 miles (Photo: Getty) Being an island has usually been a … Larne is 34 kms (22.4 miles) from Belfast, while Portpatrick is 152.8 kms (92 miles) from Glasgow and 214 kms (133 miles) from Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh. Pic: AP Photo/Matt Rourke. Video, A man who invited the world over for dinner, Star Wars supports host Arielle after racist abuse, Minister who promoted 'Covid syrup' tests positive, Larry King, veteran talk show host, dies aged 87, Biden apologises over troops sleeping in car park, he understood the idea was being "taken seriously", Scotland-Northern Ireland bridge work 'under way'. In terms of distance - more than 20 miles for the Portpatrick project - it would not be the longest bridge over water in the world. The aforementioned Oresund Bridge – the inspiration for the Scandinavian and American TV series The Bridge – is one awe-inspiring precedent. They are all dwarfed by the longest bridge of all - the Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge - at 164 km (102 miles) which stretches the furthest but not over water. In particular, it highlighted the trunk roads network from the Cairnryan ports to the motorway network. Problems arise from the bridge’s connection to the main cities in the North of Ireland and Scotland. Then there’s the thorny issue of funding the project. A Portpatrick to Belfast Lough link would be around 21 miles in length, while Antrim to Mull of Kintyre just 12 miles. PM talks to Biden in first call since inauguration, The homeless addict who became a history professor, The man who invited the world over for dinner. The 8km Oresund Bridge combines with an 8km railway tunnel to link Sweden and Denmark. The Giant’s Causeway in Antrim. The price of any construction would, obviously, be dependent on the route chosen. While both destinations are amazing and beautiful with so much to offer, and I always try to help them make the right choice for their needs, I don’t think this has to be an either-or choice. In February 2020, the Prime Minister's Office announced that it had initiated work to examine the feasibility of bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland. A bridge from Scotland to Northern Ireland? A proposed bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland is "about as feasible as building a bridge to the moon", it has been claimed. The Scottish government said last year that any such project would require close examination before it could even be considered. However, by last year the suggested price tag had risen considerably. He cites the example of the 4.9-mile Oresund Bridge, linking Sweden to Denmark, which charges a toll and is expected to recoup its costs by the late 2030s. This is nothing new as concerns have long been expressed about the area known as Beaufort's Dyke - a deep submarine trench where it has been estimated more than one million tonnes of weapons have been jettisoned. However, are cost and technical issues likely to rule it out before it begins? Video. Large infrastructure projects create jobs and … .css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link{color:inherit;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:focus,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:focus{color:#B80000;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link::after,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited::after{content:'';position:absolute;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;z-index:2;}Politicians ready to discuss bridge between NI and Scotland, Top architect insists Scotland - Northern Ireland bridge 'is feasible', 'No specific plans' for Boris Johnson's Channel bridge, A bridge across the Irish Sea and four other amazing plans, Borders man chased by police gets found 'hiding in garden with drugs', Duck found trapped in barbed fishing line as SSPCA urge fishers to be more careful, Coronavirus: The Borders area with the highest rate of cases, Coronavirus: Beltane Festival cancelled because of COVID restrictions, Information about BBC links to other news sites, 'Thousands detained' at Navalny protests in Russia. "During the leadership campaign candidates spoke about a number of issues which resulted in Number 10 commissions ahead of a new prime minister taking over," it said. More challenging than the length of such a bridge is the depth of the sea bed – up to 160 metres at its deepest section. "Such a project could be potentially tremendous for the country and show us as a forward looking and thinking country," he said. The bridge's length would depend upon the route taken; the current consensus is that the route would be between Portpatrick, in Dumfries and Galloway, and Larne in Northern Ireland, placing the proposed length at 45 kilometres (28 mi). How the pandemic has changed the world economy, The paper that helped the homeless. A senior Scottish government source has described the bridge proposal as "pie in the sky" and the "usual smokescreen bluster" from Boris Johnson. One of the potential spans of the bridge – from Kintyre in Scotland to the Antrim Coast, near Torr Head (pictured) is thought the least likely due to the rural infrastructure at either side. A bridge above the water, on the other hand, would have to be closed in rough weather and poses risks to passing ships. They rest on concrete pontoons. Naeem Hussain is global bridge design leader at design and engineering firm Arup. “And there’s the human experience to consider,” Firth adds. Cynics might say Boris Johnson’s sudden enthusiasm for a physical link between Britain and Northern Ireland is an attempt to strengthen ties within an increasingly disunited kingdom. Politicians ready to discuss bridge between NI and Scotland, Long watch: Is this Russian cult leader a fraud? The paper that helped the homeless. Dunlop proposes a cable-stayed or suspension bridge for the shallower sections and a floating pontoon-style bridge (“tied to the sea bed with cables like an oil rig”) for the deeper sections. suggested a 21-mile bridge from Dumfries and Galloway could provide international rail links and ease the strain on air services. Late last year Ireland's premier Leo Varadkar said he would not dismiss the idea of building a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland, but insisted the UK must pay for … However, imagine the chaos of a fire or an accident deep inside a tunnel in the middle of the Irish Sea. BBC Political Correspondent Nick Eardley said .css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:link{color:#3F3F42;}.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:link,.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:visited{font-weight:700;border-bottom:1px solid #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:visited:focus{border-bottom-color:currentcolor;border-bottom-width:2px;color:#B80000;}@supports (text-underline-offset:0.25em){.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:link,.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:visited{border-bottom:none;-webkit-text-decoration:underline #BABABA;text-decoration:underline #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:1px;text-decoration-thickness:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-underline-offset:0.25em;}.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-1xgj2ad-InlineLink:visited:focus{-webkit-text-decoration-color:currentcolor;text-decoration-color:currentcolor;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:2px;text-decoration-thickness:2px;color:#B80000;}}he understood the idea was being "taken seriously" and it would become clearer later this year if the idea was likely to proceed. So once the cars have driven across from Scotland to Ireland, you rotate the bridge 180 degrees so that drivers in Ireland can cross to Scotland. A bridge connecting Ireland and Scotland could create a "Celtic powerhouse", a top architect has claimed. And, to the south, a 26-mile crossing from Portpatrick to Larne. Professor Alan Dunlop was speaking in … As of February 2020, UK Government officials have begun scoping the possible route and type of crossing. However, one mega-project that has already started is a 17-mile undersea road tunnel beneath two Norwegian fjords, Boknafjord and Kvitsoyfjord, with a maximum depth of 392 metres. According to a Channel 4 report last year, the prime minister wanted to know "the risks around the project" - including "WW2 munitions in the Irish Sea". . “It’s not been done before but we’ve designed similar bridges. As well as Oresund and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau, these include the Temburong Bridge in Brunei, the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link in India and Stonecutters Bridge in Hong Kong. Wanting to reduce the border between Scotland and Ireland seems to be highly relevant at the moment. Look to the future, though, and bridge engineering gets very ambitious indeed. Late last year Ireland's premier Leo Varadkar said he would not dismiss the idea of building a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland, but insisted the UK must pay for it. The 25-mile link is being called for by politicians across the Irish Sea – who estimate it … Some of these will prove to be mere pipe dreams. “That was designed and built to withstand typhoons. Yes, according to several experienced bridge engineers and designers. He agrees that the proposed southern crossing of the Irish Sea is the best option, stressing that the 26-mile length is not the most challenging aspect, rather the depth of the sea bed. Known as Rogfast, it began construction last year and is expected to finish in 2026. He agrees a Portpatrick-Larne bridge is “entirely practical and doable”, but to make it worthwhile, the roads on the Scottish side would need to be upgraded. Just how serious the British government is about the bridge remains to be seen. Ian Firth is a British structural engineer who has worked on bridges all over the world. The idea has been floated before with two potential routes suggested - from Portpatrick to Larne or near Campbeltown to the Antrim coast. The northern route is unlikely since the ports in question are more remote, and the road improvements needed might end up costing as much as the actual bridge. A southern span between Portpatrick and Larne is thought more feasible. The UK government said that it regularly commissioned work to examine the feasibility of projects such as this. The Institution of Engineers of Ireland 's 2004 Vision of Transport in Ireland in 2050 imagines a tunnel to be built between the ports of Fishguard and Rosslare. On my very first venture into Northern Ireland the first thing I laid eyes on was religion bigotry painted almost on all wall ends. But is it technically possible? “This would be a challenging proposition,” he admits. Long watch: Is this Russian cult leader a fraud? This could have provided a land bridge to south-west Ireland around 11,000 years ago, leading Mitchell to picture "organised woods advancing up a dry coastal strip . All three designs have precedents but only on a small scale; nothing nearly as colossal as what would be required to span the Irish Sea. Documents seen by Channel 4 News reveal that the Treasury and … undersea rail tunnel across the Gulf of Finland, between Finland and Estonia, Sakhalin and the Japanese island of Hokkaido. While a traffic link between Scotland and Northern Ireland may be logistically demanding, there are impressive bridges already in operation elsewhere in the world, albeit on smaller scales. Exclusive: Johnson considering building bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland. You just build the bridge so that it can pivot at the halfway point. Firth believes the third option is most realistic since it avoids the extra cost of towers. "There are an obvious number of practical obstacles and challenges to such a concept, and it would require a robust assessment of the costs or benefits of such a project in the first instance.". Critics warn of the often tempestuous weather in the Irish Sea, for instance. He suggested two routes: a 12-mile crossing that spans the shortest gap between the two countries – Mull of Kintyre in Scotland to Torr Head, Northern Ireland. Sources have said the most likely option is between Portpatrick and Larne. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Current proposals include the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link, a tunnel connecting Denmark to Germany; an undersea rail tunnel across the Gulf of Finland, between Finland and Estonia, which at 30 miles would be the longest undersea tunnel in the world; the Saudi-Egypt Causeway, a causeway and bridge link between the Saudi city of Tabuk and the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh via the island of Tiran; the Malacca Strait Bridge between Malaysia and Indonesia; a 28-mile railway tunnel between the Russian island of Sakhalin and the Japanese island of Hokkaido; and even a 25-mile rail tunnel beneath the Strait of Gibraltar, linking Morocco to Spain. Dumfries and Galloway Council said it was "certainly not averse" to the proposal being examined but felt there were other "more immediate priorities" for investment. Just after he became Tory leader the PM was reported to … Architect Alan Dunlop's visualisation of a possible suspension bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland. Ireland 'never linked to Scotland' Thu, Sep 9, 2004, 01:00 A land bridge never formed between Ireland and Scotland, according to controversial new research, writes Dick Ahlstrom . He favours a cable-stayed bridge (with spans of between 1200m and 1500m) or a suspension bridge (with spans of between 2000m and 2500m). Tens of thousands of people join some of the largest rallies against President Vladimir Putin in years. In Northern Ireland, a proposal was contained in the 2015 DUP manifesto. The Bromford Viaduct is the longest bridge in the UK, spanning 3.4 miles. “There are rough seas,” Dunlop admits, but then he cites the example of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, a 34-mile series of cable-stayed bridges, an undersea tunnel and four artificial islands which opened in China last year. Strait of Gibraltar, linking Morocco to Spain. . At that time it estimated the cost of the scheme would be about £3.5bn. And what about the cost? One MP told the BBC a bridge could make travel "less expensive and probably more certain". © 2021 BBC. But even the non-cynics might not be able to stomach that price tag. .css-1xgx53b-Link{font-family:ReithSans,Helvetica,Arial,freesans,sans-serif;font-weight:700;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;color:#FFFFFF;}.css-1xgx53b-Link:hover,.css-1xgx53b-Link:focus{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}Read about our approach to external linking. A BRIDGE between Scotland and Ireland could create a “Celtic powerhouse” and cost a fraction of the one proposed by Boris Johnson between England and France, a leading architect has said.. 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