Vltavska underpass partly reopening

Supports will allow some trams and pedestrians but not cars

Trams and pedestrians can go under the overpass near the Vltavska metro stop at Bubenská street, starting Nov. 1. Cars are still excluded from using the surface of the overpass though.

The overpass, which had to be closed due to its poor condition, has been provisionally secured. Tram lines 1, 12 and 25 will return to their regular routes around Pražská tržnice.

“At this point we can talk about the bridge being secured in case of a crash. There are four massive supports under the bridge to prevent it from collapsing,” Petr Smolka, CEO of the Technical Roadways Administration (TSK) said.

“On [Nov. 1] we will open tram tracks from Strossmayerovo náměstí to Vltavská and one pedestrian passage under the bridge so that pedestrians do not have to walk through the traffic junction to the crossroads at Heřmanova Street,” he added.

Trams will not return to the Štvanice and Těšnov stops. They cannot turn from the Vltava river to Hlávkův most (Hlávka Bridge), as the supports are right on the track. Line 34, which is currently the replacement for line number 14, will continue to travel from Masarykovo nádraží via Florenc and Karlínské náměstí to Palmovka and further to Vysočany.

The P7 ferry, which connects Karlín and Pražská tržnice, will also end. “The season of this ferry should have end over the weekend, but we left it exceptionally for a few days longer to make a better connection to the market during tram interruption,” Martin Šubrt, deputy director of transit organizer ROPID, said. Alternative bus line number 296 will also stop running.

Cars still have to wait for further repairs. “At this point, the bridge is temporarily secured in the event of an accident, and we are now starting to prepare its additional temporary support to be built by the selected contractor during the winter,” TSK spokeswoman Barbora Lišková said.

“The current measures will protect under the overpass, but cars still cannot use it. They will only return when the bridge is reinforced by strong steel beams.”

The overpass has been under observation due to its condition, and cracks were seen to get worse during the past month.

The section in question was built in 1983, and the company that was monitoring the bridge, Pontex, said the section does not match the project documentation, which complicates the repair work.

The collapse of the pedestrian bridge at Troja in December 2017 brought attention to the condition of Prague's bridges. Many were found to be in poor condition.

Almost one-fifth of 700 bridges in the capital city are in poor, very poor or emergency condition, according to a report submitted in January to City Hall’s Transportation Committee by the TSK.

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