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Prague planners advise not to destroy Libeň bridge, build new one

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Prague, April 26 (CTK) – The Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR Prague) expert council does not recommend to the City Council to demolish the 90-year-old Liben Bridge, and it advises to quickly prepare the construction of new one, the IPR council has written in its decision available to CTK.

The IPR council argues with the esthetic and historical value of the Liben Bridge, which crosses the Vltava (Moldau) River in the northern part of the city.

On Tuesday, the Prague City Council decided to demolish the bridge due to its poor technical condition and build a new one. Its demolition was supported by seven out of 11 councillors, those from ANO and the Social Democratic Party (CSSD), while the alliance of the Greens, Christian Democrats and Mayors and Independents voted against it.

The decision is opposed by some NGOs.

Prague assembly members were to decide on the bridge on Thursday, but they did not approve the agenda and Mayor Adriana Krnacova (ANO) finished the meeting.

According to the IPR council, the bridge is a piece of avant-garde architecture and has a historical value, as it was opened on October 29, 1928, on the 10th anniversary of the birth of Czechoslovakia. Its social value rests in a large part of the capital’s inhabitants caring for it to be preserved, the council says in its decision.

This is why the council proposes to build a new bridge connecting the Holesovice district on Vltava’s left bank with the Liben district on the right bank.

Prague should be able to construct the new bridge within three years, as it has enough funds, experts and officials to do so and implement the necessary changes to the municipal planning documentation, the IPR council says.

According to the latest Prague City Council’s decision, the new bridge would be commissioned from a selected company without a public competition, with a binding deadline on the construction’s completion and a costs limit. This public procurement method is to cut down the costs of the new bridge construction, the council argues.

The Liben Bridge dates back to 1928 and has never been repaired. The authors of the Liben Bridge are architect Pavel Janak (1882-1956), a significant representative of the Czech inter-war architecture, and bridge constructor Frantisek Mencl (1879-1960). It bears elements of the cubistic style.

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