Plan approved for Negrelli Viaduct area

The spaces under the arches should become a cultural hub for the neighborhood

Cafes, galleries, and shops should appear in the arches of the Negrelli Viaduct. Prague 8 Town Hall has approved a conceptual study called Negrelli Viaduct - An Opportunity for a Creative City. The changes should take place in about three years after current repairs are completed. The goal is to return life to the viaduct. The study was prepared by the architectural firm MOBA studio.

A new square will be created. “The central element of social life will be Negrelliho náměstí. There will be 74 possibilities for spending leisure time in the 74 bays of the Karlín side,” Prague 8 Deputy Mayor Petr Vilgus said, according to daily Pražský deník.

“The model for renting the arches will not be based on purely market principles so that the viaduct does not become the second Pařížská Street, a street without a soul that Praguers do not like to visit," he said, referring to the expensive shopping street that adjoins Old Town Square.

“The goal is to open the Negrelli Viaduct to the Prague people similarly to the ruins of Kasárna Karlín. That is now one of Karlin's cultural centers offering a lookout tower, a bar, a cinema and a huge sandbox, and maybe a pool in the future,” Vilgus said. Kasárna Karlín (Karlín Barracks) opened to the public in June.

The study allows for an increase in the viaduct's area, and the existing trees and greenery will be preserved adjacent to the Negrelli náměstí along with a tree line between the parking spaces. “The conceptual study was approved with the provision that the transport solution along the whole project will be maintained in the current condition except for a change at the entrance to the Florenc Bus Station. Now we are preparing the materials for an architectural competition to be announced by Prague City Hall,” MOBA representative Igor Kovačević said.

The renovation of the viaduct should be completed in 2020. The planned budget is Kč 350 million, which will come from the Prague budget.

The Negrelli Viaduct is a railway bridge crossing the Vltava river that was built between 1846 and 1849. At 1,110 meters it was the longest bridge of its kind in Europe until 1910. It was designed by engineer Alois Negrelli.

It is Prague's first railway bridge and Prague's second-oldest bridge of any kind across the Vltava and is currently the longest railroad and the third-longest bridge in the Czech Republic.

Repairs to the bridge began in 2010 but have been delayed several times for financial reasons.

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