The British government is examining plans to build a controversial road bridge connecting Scotland and Northern Ireland, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office said Monday.
A spokesman said Johnson’s ministers are actively looking into the proposal, despite a dose of skepticism from some engineers.
“Government officials are carrying out work in relation to the idea,” Johnson’s office said.
The prime minister is reviewing the possibility of building a combined bridge and tunnel that would connect the two nations of the United Kingdom at their nearest points for about $26 billion, The Scotsman reported.
Johnson first raised the idea in December. If built, the structure would span about 25 miles between the areas of Larne and Portpatrick.
“Work is underway looking into the idea,” Johnson’s spokesman added.
“He is looking at a wide range of schemes across the United Kingdom that could boost productivity.”
The idea for a Scotland-Northern Ireland bridge has been met by some engineers with caution. Such a long bridge over water that measures 1,000 feet deep in some places, they say, is fraught with all types of potential trouble.
Former transportation minister Andrew Adonis said the bridge would come at the expense of other high-priority needs.
“The big infrastructure projects that Belfast needs are decent railway lines to Dublin and Derry,” he tweeted. “It has neither. That would cost a fraction of this ludicrous bridge.”