City favors temporary bridge near Libeňský most

A study calls for a replacement before the 90 year old bridge is fixed

Temporary bridges are being considered as a solution to Prague’s Libeňský most (Libeň Bridge), which is in very poor condition and needs to be repaired or replaced. A study by the Technical Roadway Administration (TSK) favors two option: a single-lane tram bridge and a road bridge, both running parallel to the existing bridge, or just a parallel road bridge. The bridge or bridges should support car, bus, tram, bicycle and pedestrian traffic.

The temporary bridge or bridges would minimize the interruption of traffic between Prague 7 and Prague 8 during the time that Libeňský most is renovated or rebuilt.

The temporary bridge or bridges should not interfere with river traffic and should be capable of withstanding floods.

“We all agree Libeňský most must be reconstructed, no matter what option will eventually be realized. It is not possible for this important link to have no transport compensation, and I am glad to have found a meaningful and affordable solution that will allow it. I am pleased that we will leave the new City Council well prepared,” Prague Deputy Mayor Petr Dolínek (ČSSD) said.

Prague has just had municipal elections. The currently ruling coalition of ANO, Social Democrats (ČSSD) and a three-party coalition of Mayors and Independents (STAN), Greens and Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) is likely to be replaced by Pirates, Praha Sobě, and United Forces for Prague (Spojené síly pro Prahu), which includes TOP 09, STAN, KDU-ČSL, the Liberal-Environmental Party (LES) and Jan Kasl's Democrats.

While discussions on forming the new city government are not complete, the parties have agreed that dealing with Libeňský most is a priority.

The single provisional bridge would stand upstream on the Vltava river. The single-bridge option is the most economical solution, with the addition of a tram bridge later on.

The cost of project preparation is Kč 13 million to Kč 22 million, excluding VAT, depending on the selected variant. It will take approximately two years to build either.

The price of the car-only bridge is around Kč 130 million and the road and tramway bridge is around Kč 350 million crowns, excluding VAT, according to the City Hall website.

Libeňský most earlier this year was found to be in emergency condition and was temporarily closed until sections could be propped up from underneath to prevent a possible collapse. Since then there has been a debate over whether it should be repaired or replaced.

Libeňský most has never been repaired since it opened 90 years ago. It was gradually loaded with more intensive traffic and was also damaged by floods in 2002.

The Ministry of Culture has declined to call the bridge a cultural monument. Conservationists from the National Heritage Institute (NPÚ) want to preserve the bridge, though.

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

Almost one-fifth of 700 bridges in the capital city are in poor, very poor or emergency condition, according to a report submitted in January to City Hall’s Transportation Committee by the TSK.

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