The MLA for East Antrim was speaking as County Louth announced the suspension of the project, on the same day Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy gave the scheme his department’s go-ahead.
Stewart Dickson MLA said: “It is disappointing for all involved in the Narrow Water Bridge Project to hear it has now fallen at the final hurdle.
“But it is certainly somewhat surprising that the Regional Development Minister has chosen the day Louth County Council announced the suspension as the day to give the necessary road works related to the project his go-ahead.
“It has taken many years to advance the project to where it is now. Discovering the tenders are too high puts into jeopardy the 17.4 million in European funding already secured for the project. Rather than completely shelve this plan, all interested groups must now work to examine if the tenders can be lowered and if not, where the extra money may be sourced from.
“This year the long awaited bridge came close to becoming reality and today’s news will be a devastating blow, not only for the economy but for the cross-community relations this scheme was set to build.”