Prague has 125 bridges in a poor state

The city is coming up with a plan to repair the worst bridges

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

The bridge conditions are divided into seven levels. The TSK document shows there are 125 bridges out of a total of 700 in Prague under TSK management that are at the lowest three levels.

Some 99 are categorized as bad and 23 are very bad. In the seventh grade, which means a state of emergency, three are now closed. These are the southern and northern footbridges on the railway bridge at Výton and the footbridge at metro line B at Nové Butovice. The railway footbridges are being repaired, and could both open this year if the repairs are sped up. If not, they work will extend into next year.

Repairs on the Nové Butovice footbridge should start in April.

The relatively good news is that 34 are excellent, 50 are very good, 195 are good and 296 are satisfactory.

Despite recent repairs, Charles Bridge was among the bridges in very poor condition, according to the TSK report.

For 2018, the TSK has allocated Kč 155 million for conventional maintenance. But the poor state of bridges calls for a budget increase of Kč 70 million and requires Kč 30 million to prepare and diagnose bridges for routine maintenance, according to the TSK.

City Hall’s Transportation Committee Chairman Matěj Stropnický (Green) said a lot needs to be added to the report on the state of the bridges before more money can be allocated. “We want the TSK to present a table showing the bridges in the categories between five and seven, and for each of them, the stage of repair preparation should be indicated. It also has to add what will be done this year for the increased money they are asking for,” Stropnický said, according to daily Pražský deník.

Stropnický also wants TSK to show recommended safety-traffic measures and a time frame for the bridges in the sixth category, meaning very poor.

He also questioned why the Palackého most was only getting a diagnostic survey this year, while it is in the same class as Libeňský most, which already has traffic restrictions.

The concern for bridges comes after the footbridge in Troja collapsed Dec. 2, injuring four people. Two of them were released from the hospital in December, but the other two remain hospitalized.

The footbridge links Stromovka park with the Troja Chateau and Prague Zoo, and it is popular in the summer with people strolling in the park and with bikers. Luckily, the collapse was in cold weather when it has less use.

The bridge was damaged in the floods of 2002. An examination of the bridge in 2014 showed that corrosion of the steel support cables had weakened the bridge. In 2011, the last time the bridge was repaired, engineers said it had between five and seven years of use left.

The bridge, designed by architect Jiří Stráský, was completed in 1984. It replaced a bridge that was destroyed in a flood in 1981.

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