Mayor says bridges will be built

Some projects like the completion of the inner ring road are less likely

Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) said the city has allocated Kč 18 billion toward infrastructure for the next year. The amount includes the construction of new Prague bridges, but not another section of the City Ring Road. Hřib made his comments on the TV talk show Questions From Václav Moravec.

The city has also committed to bonds worth Kč 5 billion. Hřib denied that these were a risk to the city in case of an economic downturn. “The capital now has a sufficient cushion to cover late transfers from the state budget,” Hřib said, but he added that the city may need to borrow money in the future.

Planned investments include the construction of a new footbridge in Troja, which Hřib said would cost Kč 90 million. The collapse of the Troja footbridge at the end of 2017 is what brought the state of Prague bridges into the spotlight.

The proposed bridge Rohanský most connecting Karlín to Holešovice is in preparation and could cost Kč 1.3 billion, according to the mayor. This is in line with other recent bridge projects such as Trojský most, which opened in 2014.

A competition has already taken place for the design of the proposed bridge Dvorecký most connecting Hlubočepy to Smíchov, and costs are now being calculated. Hřib said it would probably cost more than Kč 1 billion.

The planned new bridges would relieve traffic on some of the existing bridges, which have been overburdened and are in need of repairs. They would also greatly reduce the commuting time to reach certain parts of the city.

“We have several billion crowns for investments, and we have Kč 13.5 billion for which it is still unclear for which investments they will be used for,” Hřib said, adding that the purposes would be determined in January or February.

The city counts on the construction of the Metro D line connecting the southern part of Prague to the center beginning by the end of its four-year term for the current City Hall administration.

The current administration is not now counting on the next phase of the City Ring Road (Městský okruh), the inner one of two ring roads that have long been under construction. Only 22 of the planned 32.1 kilometers have been built. A new concert hall on the Vltava river is also not likely to be started in the next four years, Hřib said.

Hřib became the new mayor of Prague in November, following elections at the start of October. The Pirate Party formed a coalition with Praha Sobě (PS) and the group United Force for Prague, which includes TOP 09, Mayors and Independents (STAN), and the Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL).

Mayor Hřib, 37, is not a Prague native. He comes from Slavičín in the Zlín region. At 37 years old, he is not the youngest. Tomáš Hudeček (TOP 09) was 34.

Hřib studied medicine at the Third Medical Faculty of Charles University and has been involved in medicine and information technology since he graduated.

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