The 8km Oresund Bridge combines with an 8km railway tunnel to link Sweden and Denmark. “I’m convinced it’s doable,” he says. That honour goes, according to Guinness World Records, to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge which has 48.3km (about 30 miles) of its span over water. 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. He even has experience in Scotland with the Queensferry Crossing over the Firth of Forth. Fireball-dropping drones and the new technology helping fight fires, Gaming disorder: The rise of a 21st century epidemic, How Infrared Technology Could Help Fight Wildlife Poaching, Video: Sensation of Movement Recreated in Amputees’ Robotic Arms. A southern span between Portpatrick and Larne is thought more feasible. “I don’t think there’s been any bridge built with that much depth.”. The Bromford Viaduct is the longest bridge in the UK, spanning 3.4 miles. More challenging than the length of such a bridge is the depth of the sea bed – up to 160 metres at its deepest section. At that time it estimated the cost of the scheme would be about £3.5bn. 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 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. 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. And the engineering involved would be more than a little complicated. The Scottish government has said that it is ready to begin discussions over a potential bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland. 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. In terms of distance - more than 20 miles for the Portpatrick project - it would not be the longest bridge over water in the world. And what about the cost? The first is a multi-span cable-stayed or suspension bridge with its towers standing atop tall oil-rig-style steel or concrete structures resting on the sea bed. “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. "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. Oresund Bridge, linking Sweden to Denmark, submerged tube – effectively a tunnel under water. undersea rail tunnel across the Gulf of Finland, between Finland and Estonia, Sakhalin and the Japanese island of Hokkaido. illion tons of dumped munitions from the Second World War. suggested a 21-mile bridge from Dumfries and Galloway could provide international rail links and ease the strain on air services. .css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}Reports have resurfaced that a bridge from Scotland to Northern Ireland is being considered by the UK government. 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. A proposed bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland is "about as feasible as building a bridge to the moon", it has been claimed. Documents seen by Channel 4 News reveal that the Treasury and … 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. .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. And a bridge across the 28mile gap between Scotland Northern Ireland has been a plan of his for some time. Some of these will prove to be mere pipe dreams. In particular, it highlighted the trunk roads network from the Cairnryan ports to the motorway network. 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 - … It credits the 36km (22.4 mile) Hangzhou Bay Bridge as the structure spanning the greatest expanse of open sea. A bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland could bring huge economic benefits to both countries. Long watch: Is this Russian cult leader a fraud? 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. "Such a project could be potentially tremendous for the country and show us as a forward looking and thinking country," he said. Depending on the number of traffic lanes, he estimates this to be between £20 billion and £30 billion. 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". 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. And, to the south, a 26-mile crossing from Portpatrick to Larne. Dunlop says his route would cross to the north of this, however, where the sea is shallower. The Kingdom of England, formed in 927, gained the first U.K. state other than itself through invasion. Work is under way "by a range of government officials" to look at the idea of building a Scotland-Northern Ireland bridge, No 10 has said. For bridges on pontoons, the longest example is the Governor Albert D. Rosellini Bridge in the US state of Washington which carries State Route 520 a mile and a half across Lake Washington. “This would be a challenging proposition,” he admits. 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'. Yes, according to several experienced bridge engineers and designers. The idea has been floated before with two potential routes suggested - from Portpatrick to Larne or near Campbeltown to the Antrim coast. Tens of thousands of people join some of the largest rallies against President Vladimir Putin in years. He favours a cable-stayed bridge (with spans of between 1200m and 1500m) or a suspension bridge (with spans of between 2000m and 2500m). Just how serious the British government is about the bridge remains to be seen. But even the non-cynics might not be able to stomach that price tag. The prime minister's official spokesman said there was a "proper piece of work" being carried out by a "range of government officials". Wanting to reduce the border between Scotland and Ireland seems to be highly relevant at the moment. “Who wants to drive through an underwater tunnel 26 miles long?” He has a point: this is surely perfect material for scriptwriters of disaster movies. When I worked as a regional sales manager for GEC. 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. 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Firth believes the third option is most realistic since it avoids the extra cost of towers. Some experts have suggested £15bn might be required for the project but others have said that £20bn would be a "conservative estimate". The Scottish government said last year that any such project would require close examination before it could even be considered. But is it technically possible? 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. The aforementioned Oresund Bridge – the inspiration for the Scandinavian and American TV series The Bridge – is one awe-inspiring precedent. The paper that helped the homeless. 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. At its shortest, the distance between Scotland and Northern Ireland is 12 miles (Photo: Getty) Being an island has usually been a … 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. he would not dismiss the idea of building a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland, but insisted the UK must pay for it. 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. However, by last year the suggested price tag had risen considerably. “The bridge could be constructed with existing and proven technologies, marrying off-shore oil technology with long-span bridge technology,” he explains. How the pandemic has changed the world economy, The paper that helped the homeless. 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 … “Although submarines would need to watch out.”. 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.. Of course lake waters are far less choppy than those on the Irish Sea. This route would be approximately twice the distance of the English Channel Tunnel at 62 miles (100 km). 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. Bomb-disposal experts have warned it would be too dangerous to build a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland if it was to involve spanning the vast offshore ... long … Plans for some kind of link - either a tunnel or a bridge - go back as far as the 1890s but, despite much consideration, nothing has ever been built. 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. The land bridge between Ireland and Britian was finally overwhelmed by the sea 12,000 years ago, flooding the fresh water Irish Sea with salt water (however, short-term fluctuations did cause the land bridge to reappear briefly on several more occasions). Large infrastructure projects create jobs and … We have the engineering expertise to do that.”. ), There are pros and cons to both types of submerged tubes. A bridge from Scotland to Northern Ireland? However, are cost and technical issues likely to rule it out before it begins? SubscribePrivacy Policy(UPDATED)Terms of ServiceCookie PolicyPolicies & ProceduresContact InformationWhere to WatchConsent ManagementCookie Settings, Oresund Bridge, which links Sweden and Denmark, has been cited as a possible design for a bridge connecting Scotland and Northern Ireland – Boris Johnson's so-called 'Celtic Crossing.'. 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. 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 . Alan Dunlop is a Scottish architect who, in 2018, was commissioned by a newspaper to analyse the feasibility of such a project. Problems arise from the bridge’s connection to the main cities in the North of Ireland and Scotland. “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. David Davis poured cold water on the idea, saying to Sky News: “He wants to cancel HS2 and spend it … I often get asked by my readers which trip they should take, Ireland or Scotland? Both styles would be supported by towers standing on top of oil-rig-style frames. A new bridge linking Scotland and Northern Ireland could see the two islands getting much closer. The 25-mile link is being called for by politicians across the Irish Sea – who estimate it … 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. A Portpatrick to Belfast Lough link would be around 21 miles in length, while Antrim to Mull of Kintyre just 12 miles. He also previously told the BBC: "We do have incredibly talented architects and engineers in Scotland so I am sure that as a technical challenge it wouldn't be insurmountable.". “It’s not been done before but we’ve designed similar bridges. They rest on concrete pontoons. Now politicians across the Irish Sea want a 25-mile link between Northern Ireland and Scotland. "This PM has made no secret of his support for infrastructure projects that increase connectivity for people and particularly those that strengthen the Union.". 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. 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. A senior Scottish government source has described the bridge proposal as "pie in the sky" and the "usual smokescreen bluster" from Boris Johnson. Architect Alan Dunlop's visualisation of a possible suspension bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland. Ian Firth is a British structural engineer who has worked on bridges all over the world. And, to the south, a 26-mile crossing from Portpatrick to Larne. He outlines three possible design options. 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. 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. “And there’s the human experience to consider,” Firth adds. 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). . The price of any construction would, obviously, be dependent on the route chosen. The one attached to the sea bed would avoid the risk of ships colliding. Then there’s the thorny issue of funding the project. 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 . Next, he invaded the northern Kingdom of Scotland, kicking off the First War of Scottish Independence (that’s the one in Braveheart). You just build the bridge so that it can pivot at the halfway point. 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. 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 … 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. Politicians ready to discuss bridge between NI and Scotland, Long watch: Is this Russian cult leader a fraud? In my opinion no. 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 UK government said that it regularly commissioned work to examine the feasibility of projects such as this. Read about our approach to external linking. The Homer M Hadley floating bridge carries the Interstate 90 across Lake Washington, Washington state. It's understood one of the options being considered is a bridge which turns into a tunnel, before reverting to a bridge. "We are always keen to talk about how we can strengthen connections between Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland," a spokesman said. around 30 vessels a day, according to the Marine Management Organisation. Look to the future, though, and bridge engineering gets very ambitious indeed. 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. Critics warn of the often tempestuous weather in the Irish Sea, for instance. 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. VideoLong watch: Is this Russian cult leader a fraud? 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. First Boris Johnson called for a bridge between France and England. The second is also a cable-stayed or suspension bridge but with its towers supported on huge, submerged floating pontoons tethered by cables to the sea bed. Between logistics and costs, some have dismissed the scheme as unlikely to ever happen. 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. .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? 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… The third, and most eyebrow-raising of all, is a submerged tube – effectively a tunnel under water – attached to floating pontoons at the surface or tethered by cables to the sea bed below. Professor Alan Dunlop was speaking in … Both the Treasury and the Department for Transport have been asked to look into the financial side of the project. The Giant’s Causeway in Antrim. However, some political will has emerged in recent years. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. "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.". Scotland emerged from the First and Second Wars of Scottish Independen… However, imagine the chaos of a fire or an accident deep inside a tunnel in the middle of the Irish Sea. 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. .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. © 2021 BBC. In the late 13th century, King Edward I conquered the western Principality of Wales, claiming it as a territory of England. 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. 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. 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. On my very first venture into Northern Ireland the first thing I laid eyes on was religion bigotry painted almost on all wall ends. One MP told the BBC a bridge could make travel "less expensive and probably more certain". Boris Johnson’s proposal to build a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland has been given a massive boost. 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. Strait of Gibraltar, linking Morocco to Spain. Known as Rogfast, it began construction last year and is expected to finish in 2026. Sources have said the most likely option is between Portpatrick and Larne. Video. Exclusive: Johnson considering building bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland. Substructures would be a challenging proposition, ” he admits external sites probably more certain '' not been before. On was religion bigotry painted almost on all wall ends 's visualisation of a fire or an accident inside. Mp told the BBC a bridge between France and England then there ’ s doable, ” he says even... ’ s the thorny issue of funding the project but others have said the most challenging Sea on. 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