Csepel was once surrounded by branches of the Danube that were practically the same width. However, the Soroksár branch was closed within the framework of the regulation of the Danube, today in the north, it is closed by the Kvassay lock, which got its name from the famous Hungarian water engineer, the designer of the lock. In front of this lock is the strangest named Danube island, the Osztósziget ('Divider Island'). Its name refers to its function, which is to divide the riverbed of the Danube, as the waterway leads to the navigation lock on the south side of the island. The stadium is still being built on the shores of Pest, in Ferencváros, and from there the new bridge leads to Csepel via Osztósziget.

In addition to the design of the 9th District Athletic Stadium, the bridge was also designed. It turned out early on that the bridge could not be straight, it was advisable to drive in an arc, and the final idea was chosen from several plans, which would mean a bridge with a unique solution in Budapest. The bridge itself will not be small, as its total length will be 170 metres and the pylon will reach 65 metres high, so it will be visible from afar. True, this 65-metre pylon will look like a thin needle breaking high.

The pylon of the bridge will be 65 metres high (Photo: Speciálterv Zrt.) 

The bridge contains many interesting solutions. On the one hand, as Pestbuda wrote, the bridge deck does not lead straight from one shore to the other, but with a comfortable, beautiful curve, as a result of which pedestrians will have a special sight when they cross the bridge.

The other curiosity is that the bridge is held by a needle reaching into a huge sky. In technical language, the bridge will be an orthotropic steel bridge. A good example of a cable-stayed bridge is the Megyeri Bridge. (In the case of sloping cable suspension bridges, the bridge deck is usually supported by cables branching radially or parallel from the tower.)

At this bridge, the cables branch radially from the top of the pylon, but there is also a special feature about this. This is because the pylon will stand next to the bridge structure, not above it, i.e., the track will not pass under the pylon. To make another twist in the story, the pylon of the new bridge is not even vertical but leans back 9 degrees.

The dimensions of the bridge are not to be overlooked, its total length is 168 metres and it arches over the river with two spans, one 90 and one 78 metres. The pylon itself stands on Osztósziget, so the working name of the bridge is “Robinson Bridge”.

Night view of the bridge (Photo: Speciálterv Zrt.) 

But the pylon is interesting for something else, not just because it is not vertical: it is actually like a needle reaching into the sky. The total length of the structure is 69 metres, which after its erection is now 65 metres above ground level.

Together with the assemblies, a 200-tonne pylon was transported by barge in front of the Kvassay lock, where they had to wait two months to be able to erect it. It could only be lifted at a suitable water level, which was on 7 January, and the Ádám Clark floating crane set up the pylon in a few hours. The needle analogy is really no exaggeration, as it is only 2 metres in diameter at the thickest point of the nearly 70-metre-long structure, but it tapers and narrows both downwards and upwards.

The 53 cables starting from a thin snow-white column rising 65 metres above the ground will hold the roadway, while the column itself will be stabilised by 3 thick cables. The 53 cables will not be the same thickness and will vary in diameter from 35 to 65 mm.

A similar pedestrian bridge has not yet been built in Budapest (Photo: Speciálterv Zrt.) 

Although the course of the bridge is primarily designed for pedestrians and cyclists, the expectation was that golf carts carrying athletes would be able to drive through it during the World Athletics Championships. The roadway is 7 metres wide (which is wider than the Chain Bridge roadway) while the entire structure is 12 metres wide.

Special vibration isolator devices were built into the bridge to filter out any vibrations. These are needed because the vibrations caused by pedestrians have already caused unpleasant surprises at many footbridges after they have been handed over. Here, because of these devices, this is not to be expected, as the devices will be able to be tuned to actual use.

Cover photo: Design render of the bridge (Photo: Speciálterv Zrt.)