Most of the expert colloquium leans towards the construction of a new railway bridge in Prague

Most of the expert colloquium leans towards the construction of a new railway bridge in Prague

Most of the expert colloquium leans towards building a new railway bridge in Prague

The Prague railway bridge (pictured on December 27, 2013) from Podskalí to Smíchov.

Prague – Most of the members of the international expert colloquium on the future of the railway bridge over the Vltava between Podskalí and Smíchov in Prague are leaning towards the construction of a new bridge. According to them, repairing a heritage-protected bridge would be expensive and its service life would be shorter than a new one. ČTK was informed today by the spokesperson of the Railway Administration (SŽ), Dušan Gavenda. The colloquium was created precisely to assess the condition and future of the building, which has been in poor condition for a long time. SŽ presented a project some time ago, according to which only the lower part with the pillars should remain of the bridge and the current riveted structure should be replaced by a new one. Transport Minister Martin Kupka (ODS) recently said that a decision on the future of the bridge should be made by the end of this year.

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The public opposed the SŽ plans when a petition to save the bridge was created, which has so far been signed by 13,889 people. Neither Prague 5 nor the former city management agree with SŽ's approach. The President of the Czech National Committee of ICOMOS (International Council of Monuments and Sites) Václav Girsa stated that demolishing the railway bridge and replacing it with another is unacceptable and threatens international shame. , that they agree on the poor state of the bridge with significant corrosion. Most of the participants are of the opinion that repairing the existing bridge is technically and financially demanding and has a limited lifespan with high costs for further maintenance,” said Gavenda.

According to Gavenda, seven out of ten colloquium members spoke in favor of building a new bridge. They recommended reusing the current structure, relocating it and using it in a new location, for example, as a footbridge. “A smaller part of the colloquium, two out of ten, considers the historical value of the bridge to be so significant that they are inclined to repair it and consider it realistic from the point of view of safety and costs. They do not consider a new three-lane bridge necessary,” said Gavenda.

< p>The colloquium agreed that the surveys to date are sufficient basis for deciding on the future of the bridge and that the condition of the bridge is poor. At the same time, they agreed that it can be repaired, but the members differ in their opinion about its difficulty. The colloquium considers the design of the new bridge to be technically modern and in order. The Ministry and SŽ recommended to discuss the next course of action with UNESCO.

The now former Deputy Mayor of Prague for Transport Adam Scheinherr (Praha Sobě) told ČTK in recent weeks that, with regard to ensuring rail transport in the metropolis, according to him, it would be reconstruction is the fastest solution. SŽ expects to start work in 2026. If SŽ used the already completed documentation from 2020, according to Scheinherr, repairs could begin up to two years earlier than the construction of the new bridge. SŽ disagreed with this in an earlier statement. According to SŽ, the bridge cannot be repaired due to its poor condition, or the repair would be disproportionately complicated.

The railway bridge on the Výton was put into operation in its original form on August 15, 1872. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, it was replaced by a bridge, which still spans the Vltava river.