The state secretary for the development of Budapest and the metropolitan area has asked the city’s mayor to clarify his position regarding the renovation of Chain Bridge.
In a letter to Gergely Karácsony, Balázs Fürjes expressed surprise over the mayor’s announcement on Facebook on Thursday of the city’s decision to postpone the renovation project indefinitely.
In the letter, a copy of which Fürjes sent to MTI on Friday, the state secretary quoted Karácsony as saying publicly last December that “the renovation cannot be postponed any longer” and in January this year that it “cannot be delayed for too long”.
Fürjes also referred to Karácsony banning heavy vehicles from using the bridge “in order to prevent the further deterioration of its condition”.
Fürjes said Karácsony’s recent announcement was “in sharp contrast” to his earlier statements and to the recommendations of an emergency status report prepared by engineers at the mayor’s request last December.
He said Karácsony gave the government a copy of the report indicating its conclusion that the renovation could not be postponed any longer, given that the bridge “is in very poor condition”. Highlighting the severe corrosion of the iron structure, the report said that any delay would drastically increase costs and could ultimately eliminate the option of renovation.
Fürjes asked Karácsony to confirm the information regarding the bridge’s current condition and inform his office whether the report is still valid or if a new report has been drawn up.
He said it was important for the government to know since it has already earmarked 6 billion forints (EUR 17.2m) to support the renovation.