Vltavska overpass to be torn down

Repairing the section would not make economic sense

The overpass at the Vltavska metro stop must be demolished, and supports are now being put in place to make time for preparing a replacement.

Tram traffic under the overpass at Vltavska has been rerouted, and cars are blocked from using it. The TSK previously announced tram traffic could be restored within a week.

“We are not planning a repair because at this point the repair would be unpredictable. We will prepare project documentation and look for a designer to build a new overpass,” TSK spokesman Barbora Lišková said.

The TSK had planned to repair the bridge, but its life extension would not have been long. The decision is purely economic, she added. Replacing the overpass will take several years, she added.

The overpass in the opposite direction at Bubenská Street will also be replaced.

The closure came when a crack that had been being monitored for the past 25 days expanded four millimeters.

For now, TSK will support the 40-year-old bridge section and gradually secure it within one or two months more to withstand traffic.

The bridge will be supported until a new one is built. Operation below it and on the surface will be restored, but speed will be reduced.

Repair work will start immediately. “We assume that the price for this support will be in the order of millions of crowns,” Lišková said.

The bridge was built as part of the construction of the highway connecting the north of Prague with the D1 motorway in the south of the city. It was built by the military and put into operation in 1980.

It uses the same type of constriction as the Morandi Bridge that collapsed in Genoa this year and the Troja footbridge that collapsed in Prague last year.

The ramps lead to the Hlávka Bridge (Hlávkův most), which crosses the Vltava to join Prague 1 with Prague 7, and provides access to Štvanice island. It is also in poor condition and scheduled to be repaired.

The collapse of the pedestrian bridge at Troja in December 2017 brought attention to the condition of Prague's bridges. Many were found to be in poor condition. There is an ongoing controversy over whether to rebuild or replace the Libeň Bridge (Libeňský most), and whether or not to build a temporary bridge.

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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