The renovated Chain Bridge was handed over to temporary traffic, reports MTI. For the time being, only the vehicles of the Budapest Transport Centre (BKK), as well as taxis, mopeds, motorcyclists, cyclists and users of micro-transport devices can drive on the bridge. According to the plans, pedestrians will be able to use the crossing from the end of next summer. Gergely Karácsony announced that they intend to decide on the final traffic order of the bridge together with the citizens of Budapest, "after conducting real public debates".
The Chain Bridge on the day of the opening of the renovated road, 16 December 2022 (Photo: MTI/Zoltán Balogh)
Gergely Karácsony, Mayor of Budapest, announced at the event that they intend to decide on the final traffic order of the bridge together with the citizens of Budapest, after conducting real public debates.
According to the news of MTI, Gergely Karácsony said at the handover: the bridge was born in an era when Hungary represented the homeland and progress at the same time, and when there was no question of "Hungary or Europe, since it was clear that it was Hungary and Europe". He said: they hope that Hungary can be such a place again. He added: the Chain Bridge should be a bridge between the present and the future, and not only connect Buda and Pest but also the divided and fragmented country, MTI reports.
The Mayor thanked the builders, the designers, the BKK for their work, and the people of Budapest for their patience over the past 18 months and the 20 years that preceded it, full of anticipation.
He also said that representatives of the government were also invited to the event, but they could not come. The Mayor also thanked the government for the work, saying that the government should also share in such a joint success as the renovation of the Chain Bridge.
László Sal, CEO of the contractor A-Híd Zrt., emphasised that they can hand over the Chain Bridge to temporary traffic five days before the deadline stipulated in the contract. At the same time, the reconstruction work, which is 80 per cent complete, continues on the sidewalk sections, so pedestrians will only be able to take possession of the bridge from the end of next summer. According to his statement, they felt the prestige of the investment all along and carried out the work accordingly.
The biggest challenge, he continued, was the replacement of the old reinforced concrete track. After the structure was demolished, around 900 tons of steel track was installed, and the bridge was strengthened with 20 tons of steel structure, the stone surfaces were restored, and the chain was provided with a new anti-corrosion coating.
According to the plans, pedestrians can use the bridge from the end of next summer (Photo: MTI/Zoltán Balogh)
Katalin Walter, the CEO of BKK, announced that exactly 548 days after the complete closure last June, the roadway could be handed over to temporary traffic on time and within the predetermined budget. The temporary traffic also provides an opportunity to test the priority of public transport and micro-mobility devices, said the company leader.
BKK also announced that it will provide more than 20 per cent more capacity than before for those who use public transport on the Chain Bridge. A decision on the bridge's final traffic order will be made in the first half of 2023 by asking the citizens of Budapest for their opinion.
In other words, after a six-month test period, the citizens of Budapest can make a well-founded decision about what the final function of the Chain Bridge should be in the future, writes MTI based on the BKK announcement.
As Pestbuda wrote earlier: the renovation of the Chain Bridge was prepared by the previous city administration, the necessary money was also allocated, but the new general assembly and the new city administration elected in 2019 stopped the program and decided to implement it with reduced technical content. The renovation of the Tunnel and other related investments were left out of the program.
The reconsideration caused a significant delay in the actual start of the renovation, which could therefore only start in 2021.
Source: MTI, Pestbuda.hu
Cover photo: The renovated Chain Bridge was handed over to temporary traffic (Photo: BKK)