An Bord Pleanála has given planning permission to Louth County Council for the construction of a new bridge across the River Newry at Narrow Water.

Northern Ireland Environment Minister Alex Attwood last week granted planning permission for the project relating to infrastructure needed in Co Down.

The single carriageway cable bridge will be 660 metres in length and cost just over €18m to build.

Its location is close to where 18 British soldiers were killed in an IRA ambush in 1979.

The project is one of 12 seeking a share of a €30m EU fund and Louth County Council said it hopes it will be opened by mid-2015.

Already, €900,000 has been spent on the project.

Louth County Council Chairman Finnan McCoy described today's announcement as "another welcome and important milestone towards physical work commencing on the site".