Planning permission has been granted in Northern Ireland and by An Bord Pleanála to Louth County Council for a new bridge across the Newry river at Narrow Water near Warrenpoint, County Down.
On completion, it will link County Down with County Louth.
The project is seeking £17.2m in funding through the Special EU Projects body.
Environment Minister Alex Attwood said the bridge would be the most significant infrastructure project in the “border region” for many years.
“I hope that a similarly positive decision will come from planning authorities in the Republic soon in relation to the southern end of the Narrow Water,” he said.
Mr Attwood said the bridge would be an “opening bridge that enables tall ships, leisure craft and other marine vessels access to the Victoria Lock and the Albert Basin in Newry”.
“The bridge will act as a gateway to the Mourne and Cooley Mountains for people and tourists south of the border making it much easier for visitors travelling each way,” he added.
“It will be a great economic boost for the area, creating construction jobs in the short term, enhance tourism and promote greater community interaction across the border.”
The proposed development is by Louth County Council in association with Newry and Mourne District Council.