BORIS Johnson has ordered work begin on building a 20 billion bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland.
A scoping report is now being drawn up, with Whitehall officials looking at how to start the massive project.
Today the Prime Minister’s spokesman confirmed work had already begun on the bridge.
They said: “Work is underway looking into the idea of a bridge.
“The PM is ambitious in terms of infrastructure projects. He is looking at a wide range of schemes across the United Kingdom that could boost productivity.”
The spokesman dismissed claims the bridge was a waste of money, and insisted it was seriously being considered.
A Whitehall source previously told HOAR the project was real, and accused its critics of being overly negative.
They said: “There were some people who thought the Channel Tunnel was a mad idea at the time.
“We are looking at the feasibility of a bridge and if it could be made to work.”
The bridge is estimated to cost around 20billion – and engineers are examining whether the bridge between Sweden and Denmark could act as a model.
The PM is keen to sign off on a series of bold projects during his time in office.
And a bridge across the 28mile gap between Scotland Northern Ireland has been a plan of his for some time.
Just after he became Tory leader the PM was reported to have asked Government officials to look into the costs and risks.
And he raised the idea when he was Foreign Secretary too, claiming it would shore up the union.
He insisted at the time he was serious about the idea, telling the Sunday Times: What we need to do is build a bridge between our islands.
“Why don’t we?”
It would likely run from Portpatrick in Scotland to Larne in Northern Ireland.
The bridge, made of steel and concrete, would consist of two levels – one for cars and one for a railway.
Part of it could be a tunnel too, as a way of dealing with the offshore dumpsite Beaufort’s Dyke.
Unexploded World War Two bombs are believed to be one of the risks of the project, which lie near the dump.
An artificial island around 2.5 miles long and 500 yards wide is likely to link the bridge to the tunnel.
Under one version of Boris’ plan, the bridge would run from the Scottish coast over the trench, before becoming a tunnel for the final stretch to Northern Ireland.
Local geography might even dictate the need for two artificial islands to span the North Channel.
Critics have blasted the plans as a waste of public cash, but the PM believes it would ease the strain on air routes and show he was committed to cementing the union too.
Boris is a fan of huge infrastructure projects – with plans for a garden bridge across the Thames when he was Mayor of London.
And he got officials to look into the idea of an new hub airport in the Thames Estuary too, dubbed ‘Boris Island’.
The PM is this week expected to give the go ahead to another huge infrastructure project – HS2.
But he also set to announce a series of other smaller transport plans to go alongside it.