Dunlop doubles down on plans for an Irish Sea bridge with new drawings
September 2 2021
Professor Alan Dunlop, the architect behind a proposed sea crossing from Scotland to Northern Ireland, has come out in favour of a bridge link over a sub-sea tunnel ahead of an upcoming presentation to the Caledonian Club.
The drawings depict a combined box girder and cable-stayed design snaking from coast to coast after the idea was given fresh impetus by a Scottish Government initiative to build a bridge between Gourock and Dunoon at an estimated cost of between £400m and £1.5bn.
Two options are being investigated for the significantly more ambitious Northern Ireland link, which could connect Larne and Portpatrick at a cost of around £20bn or Mull of Kintyre and Torr Head, estimated to clock in at up to £15bn.
Any Gourock-Dunoon connection would make the second option significantly more feasible by drastically reducing travel times to the Mull of Kintyre.
Dunlop said: "Although it's the link that's always been most important to me, my preferred option would be a bridge or structures that rise above the wave line. The symbolism and iconography is important, you have to see it. So even my tunnel drawings have pontoons that sit on the sea surface and support the tunnel 30 to 40 metres below the wave live, where the conditions are much calmer and Beaufort's Dyke can be avoided.
"A bridge is a marker for a country looking to the future and a visible sign of confidence, a tunnel is not."
The push for a modern-day giants causeway follows a formal submission of a 25-mile twin-bore tunnel by the High-Speed Rail Group, now subject to a feasibility study by Network Rail.
Dunlop will present his vision to the Caledonian Club on 7 September ahead of a visit by Secretary of State for Scotland Jack on 19 October.
Back to September 2021
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