Boris Johnson Revives 'Bonkers' Bridge Idea

British government considering $25B bridge between Scotland, N. Ireland
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2020 4:28 AM CST
Johnson Revives Idea of Bridge to N. Ireland
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street in London, to attend the weekly Prime Minister's Questions at the Houses of Parliament in London, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

With Scotland talking about independence post-Brexit and Sinn Fein calling for a vote on reunifying Ireland after its election success, Boris Johnson is talking about building bridges. The British prime minister has revived what critics call a "bonkers" idea to build a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland, the Guardian reports. A spokesperson for the prime minister says "work is underway by a range of government officials" looking at the feasibility of the idea. Architects say a bridge across more than 20 miles of the Irish Sea is technically possible, though it would probably cost more than $25 billion.

A major obstacle to building the proposed bridge between Larne in Northern Ireland and Portpatrick in Scotland would be Beaufort's Dyke, a natural trench up to 1,000 feet deep in places where more than a million tons of munitions was dumped after World War II, the BBC reports. Offshore engineer James Duncan described the bridge idea as "about as feasible as building a bridge to the moon," Business Insider reports. "Many long bridges have been built, but none across such a wide, deep and stormy stretch of water," he said in a letter to the Sunday Times. Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon said Monday that she wasn't completely opposed to the idea, but if Johnson has a spare $25 billion, there are "more important priorities" to deal with. (More United Kingdom stories.)

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