The main characteristics of the bridge will not change, but almost everything will be replaced in it. The chains installed in 1916 will remain, but the structure and the underground anchoring chambers will be renewed. Furthermore, in the Pest bridgehead, there will be pedestrian crossings.
According to index.hu, corrosion weakens the structure of the bridge day by day. That is why the renovation is urgent, not because the bridge is life-threatening. As a result, the public can use it until its closure in June. Based on the plans,
the renovation project will last for 30 months.
Before 1849, there was a bridge made by joining barges, but that had to be removed during winter. That is why count Istán Széchenyi, the “greatest Hungarian”, decided to build a permanent bridge over the Danube connecting Pest, Buda and Óbuda in every season. The work finished in 1849, and the Chain Bridge became not only a symbol of the united Budapest but also of Hungary in the following centuries.
In 1849, architects built 2,000 tonnes of iron into the structure. However, that was extended to 5,000 in 1916 when the bridge was rebuilt. Unfortunately,
German troops blew the bridge up during the siege of Budapest in 1944-45.
After WWII, the government rebuilt it using reinforced concrete. That is what A-Híd Ltd, the contractor of the renovation project, will take up because it became aged. Interestingly, the last modification was carried out in the 1980s on the Chain Bridge.
Currently, the contractor will replace reinforced concrete with steel structures. Moreover, they will remove rust and protect the bridge against it again. The preparatory phase started yesterday, during which they closed the pavements
so one can go through the bridge only by car currently.
In the next few weeks, they plan to paint 80 thousand square metres of surface on the bridge. From April 16 on, they will adjust the Pest and Buda bridgehead tunnels to the cyclists’ needs.
To renew the structure of the bridge, experts will attach a 7,000 square metre scaffold beneath the bridge from where
they will build 1,000 tonnes of steel structures made in Csepel, 21st district.
The bridge will get a changeable floodlight, and both the coat-of-arms and the rosettes on it will be renewed. Therefore, from June on, cars will not be able to go through the bridge for 18 months. In return, BKK will transport passengers between the Clark Ádám square and the Széchenyi square for free. Based on experts, the closure of the bridge will not cause significant problems in the traffic of the city.
If everything goes well, the bridge will not need further renovation for 30 years.