Libeňský most is not a cultural monument

Repairs to the bridge can now occur quickly if there is no appeal

The Ministry of Culture has decided that the bridge Libeňský most is not a cultural monument and therefore is not protected from either changes or demolition. The concerned parties to the case have 15 days to appeal.

The ministry itself stated on its website only that a verdict has been delivered to the electronic boxes of those concerned.

The parties that can appeal are the City of Prague, the Prague Public Transport Company (DPP), the Technical Administration of Roadways (TSK) and Czech Ports (ČP). Other groups or persons can make comments or object, but that will not suspend the decision.

City Hall gave details and confirmed that the bridge is not a protected landmark. “For Prague and for the future of Libeňský most, the decision is positive and I welcome it. If the bridge were declared a monument, its recommissioning would significantly be complicated and delayed,” Prague Deputy Mayor Petr Dolínek (ČSSD) said on the City Hall website.

“A group of leading bridge engineers, who share the same opinion, turned to me and offered cooperation to Prague, which I greatly appreciate. I will create an expert group that should help us not only with the Libeň bridge but with the situation of the bridges in general,” he added.

A survey of bridges released in January found that 125 out of 700 bridges in the city were in poor, very poor or emergency state.

Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová (ANO) said that now the city must decide whether to overhaul the existing Libeň bridge or build a new one. She favors a new bridge, according to daily Mladá fronta Dnes (MfD).

Miloslav Černý, chairman of the board of directors of the Czech Ports, told MfD his organization would not appeal, and that it welcomed the decision that allows the repair of the bridge.

A Facebook page dedicated to preserving the bridge — Libeňský most Nebourat, Nerozšiřovat — expressed regret over the decision, saying that it had studies showing the bridge could easily be repaired and only a few parts such as stairways needed to be replaced with replicas. This would be easier and faster than building a new bridge and cause less inconvenience.

Repairs to the existing bridge and the construction of a new one are financially almost the same, both Kč 550 million to 600 million. However, a completely new bridge would be cheaper to maintain, MfD reported. Renovations could be completed within two years.

If the bridge had been named a cultural landmark, repairs could have stretched out to eight years, according to previous reports.

The concern for bridges comes after the footbridge in Troja collapsed Dec. 2, injuring four people, two seriously. The footbridge linked Stromovka park with the Troja Chateau and Prague Zoo. It was popular in the summer with people strolling in the park and with bikers. Luckily, the collapse was in cold weather when it had less use.

Libeňský most was closed to motor vehicle and tram traffic Jan. 19 due to the emergency condition of one of its spans. Currently, support work is underway so that at least public transport could return to the bridge in the near future.

The concrete bridge was designed by architects Pavel Janák and František Mencl, and it opened April 29, 1928, for the 10th anniversary of Czechoslovakia.

The bridge was originally called Masarykův most, and was called Baxův most in 1939 and '40, and then Libeňský most from 1940 to '45, then Baxův most again from 1945 to '52. It was Stalingradský most from 1952 to '62 and then Libeňský most since then.

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