Prague 7 opposes temporary Troja bridge

Prague’s deputy mayor calls the objections odd and cites a pattern of obstruction

A temporary footbridge from Císařský ostrov to Troja seems likely to be delayed. Prague City Hall wants to build a temporary wooden replacement for the popular footbridge that collapsed last winter, but the Transport Department of Prague 7 says the proposed bridge is not wide enough and would be noisy.

Prague Deputy Mayor Petr Dolínek (ČSSD) posted the letter of objection on Facebook. Dolínek called the objections raised “odd” and criticized the Prague 7 leadership, specifically Mayor Jan Čižinský, for standing in the way of this and other projects.

“When it comes to bicycle paths on main roads, the approval stamps [from Prague 7] only trickle. When it comes to a temporary footbridge that would make a significant contribution, it is all a challenge. The construction of the temporary footbridge will not be in the order of months but years,” Dolínek said. He added that this is only a temporary bridge, and a there will be an architectural contest for the permanent one.

The proposed temporary footbridge has a width of 3.5 meters, which Prague 7 says is unsuitable for a large number of pedestrians, cyclists and skaters heading to Prague Zoo, The Botanical Gardens and cycling routes along the Vltava river.

“For this reason, the minimum width of the passage space should be four meters, but an optimal width of six meters would be necessary to ensure safe operation on the footbridge. With passage width of six meters, it would be possible to separate pedestrian and cycling into two-way traffic,” the Prague 7 letter states.

The collapsed footbridge in Troja was 3.8 meters wide, with a three-meter walkway. Cyclists were supposed to walk their bikes across, but many ignored the signs.

Prague 7 also claims the temporary bridge would create a noise nuisance. “Bikes and inline skating over wooden planks would greatly increase the noise in the location. Because of this, we require a single anti-slip surface on the footbridge,” the letter states.

The Troja footbridge collapsed Dec. 2, 2017. 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.

Four people were injured in the collapse, two seriously.

Prague City Hall previously said the temporary footbridge would be completed in the next year. The delay is because the original footbridge was not included in the land use plan, so the city has to make a change to allow for its replacement.

An architectural competition for the permanent footbridge is expected to be announced by the city next year.

In the meantime, a ferry has been providing a connection between Císařský ostrov and Troja.

The left bank of the Vltava River and Troja should also be linked by link two more footbridges. One would be downstream from the one that collapsed. Another would lead from Podbaba to the zoo and should also have trams, though Prague 8 objects to the tram’s route.

The collapse of the Troja footbridge drew attention to the overall condition of bridges in the city. Almost one-fifth of the 700 bridges in Prague were found to be 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) in January.

Since then, Libeňský most was temporarily shut down until it could be propped up. Whether to repair it or replace it has become a hot issue. Hlávkův most also is in need of repair, though it is not in as bad a shape as Libeňský most.

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