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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

(Newser) – 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.

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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. (Read more United Kingdom stories.)

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