Prague railway bridge (pictured on December 27, 2013) from Podskalí to Smíchov.
Prague – Demolishing the Prague railway bridge under Vyšehrad and replacing it with another is unacceptable from the point of view of preservation. The effort of the Railway Administration (SŽ) to demolish a heritage-protected bridge is causing international shame. Václav Girsa, president of the Czech National Committee of ICOMOS (International Council of Monuments and Sites), stated this in an open letter to Transport Minister Martin Kupko (ODS). On Kupka's initiative, a technical colloquium on the new bridge under Vyšehrad is being held in Prague today and on Tuesday.
Photo gallery: Railway bridge under Vyšehrad
The future fate of the bridge has been discussed in the metropolis for a long time, the State Railway Administration has launched a competition for the next step, in which the proposal of the 2T engineering studio was successful last year, counting on the preservation of only the pillars of the bridge and the replacement of the current supporting structure with a new construction. The authors of the proposal also stated that the structure could be moved between the new railway bridge and the Palacký bridge and serve as a footbridge for pedestrians and cyclists.
Not only preservationists disagree with replacing the current bridge, which is a cultural monument, with a new building, but also the former deputy for transport of the Prague mayor, Adam Scheinherr (Prague Sobě), spoke out against it. They argue that the bridge can be repaired. The Town Hall of Prague 5 also stood up for preserving the current form of the bridge and created a petition for it, which has been supported by over 11,000 people on the Internet to date. However, according to earlier statements by SŽ, the bridge cannot be repaired due to its poor condition, or the repair would be disproportionately complicated.
“The idea of the Railway Administration that it will leave only its plinth from the heritage-protected bridge and thus the monument will be preserved, is completely misguided and is a misunderstanding of the meaning of the protection of cultural monuments and the principle of protection of the Prague Monument Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site,” he stated in a letter to Kupko Girsa.< /p>
He reminds that according to the law, the owner of a cultural monument is obliged to take care of its preservation, keep it in good condition and protect it from damage and deterioration. This did not happen in the case of the railway bridge under Vyšehrad for 19 years. According to him, SŽ therefore violates the Act on State Monument Care. ICOMOS also argues the opinions of international experts on the repair of steel riveted structures, according to which the bridge is repairable.
According to the committee, it is necessary to seek solutions from international experts who can recommend the adoption of the standard, as well as advise on the best way to certify in the Czech Republic, a fixed track of the edilon sedra system. This is an element that would allow the Vyšehrad bridge to be fully loaded with modern railway traffic with a significant reduction in noise. Swiss expert on historic bridge constructions, Eugen Brühwiler, will give a lecture in Prague on Tuesday at the invitation of the Nebourat.cz initiative, which appeals for the preservation of the bridge.