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Ministry: Prague’s Libeň Bridge is not cultural heritage

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Prague, Feb 19 (CTK) – Prague’s Liben Bridge, which has been closed for transport over its poor technical condition since January 19, has not been declared cultural heritage according to a recent decision by the Culture Ministry, Deputy Mayor for Transport Petr Dolinek (Social Democarts, CSSD) told CTK on Monday.

The Prague City Council is to decide at one of its next meetings whether the bridge is to be reconstructed or disassembled and pulled down.

The ministry’s recent verdict can be appealed within 15 days by any of the participants of the proceedings, that is the City of Prague, the Prague Public Transit Company, the Technical Administration of Communications and the Czech Ports company. In the case that such an appeal is submitted, a special commission is to deal with it, which could take up to several months.

Experts from Klokner Institute (KI) of the Czech Technical University (CVUT) were examining the bridge for about one year. According to KI head Jiri Kolisko, an extensive reconstruction was necessary.

Professional estimates of both its reconstruction and the construction of a new bridge have been at similar sums, some 550-600 million crowns.

Originally, the Technical Administration of Communications anticipated repair costs to reach about 350 million crowns, provided that the current bridge pillars could be used. Due to their poor condition, however, this option was ruled out by experts.

Prague Assembly member Matej Stropnicky (the Greens, Three-party Coalition) maintains the price of the construction of a new bride is underestimated, because it does not include the cost of the construction of a makeshift bridge.

According to Stropnicky, a new bridge would cost double the cost of its reconstruction.

The load-bearing structure of the bridge has not been repaired at all since it was built in 1928 according to the design of architect Pavel Janak and design engineer Frantisek Mencl.

In response to the Troja footbridge collapse in December 2017, the Liben Bridge, with bustling car and tram traffic, was closed due to its emergency condition alongside other constructions in Prague.

At the end of January, the Technical Administration of Communications began installing supports under the bridge, after which public transport might return on the bridge within approximately one month.

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