The reconstruction of the Chain Bridge and the Buda Castle Hill Tunnel is estimated to begin later this year, 444.hu writes. The UNESCO World Heritage Sites will not change in appearance, but there will be no changes to the bike and car traffic on the bridge, either.
The reconstruction project is estimated to begin in autumn 2017. It will take 2.5 years to complete and will cost 22-23 billion forints (approx. 71 million euros).
The Chain Bridge and the Buda Castle Hill Tunnel are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and, as such, their appearance is under protection and cannot be changed. More attention will be paid to detail, however: the coat of arms of Baron Sina and Széchenyi on the base of the stone lions, as well as the original three-branched lamp posts, neither of which were included in the post-WWII reconstruction, will now be restored. Moreover, LED lights will be installed on the bridge.
Traffic will experience no substantial changes on the bridge. Cyclists will be able to use the bridge as before: either among the cars or on the pavement, among pedestrians. The Hungarian Cyclists’ Club has suggested that bridge traffic should be limited to cyclists and buses, and there have also been plans to widen the pedestrian pavement due to the bridge’s popularity among tourists in the summer months, but both ideas have been discarded. According to the current plans, car traffic will not be reduced in the coming years.
Pedestrians will be able to use a new zebra crossing at the bridgehead in Pest to cross from one side of the bridge to the other more easily.
In the Castle Hill Tunnel, there will be a separate bike lane going in both directions, making traffic for pedestrians and cyclists more comfortable. Moreover, ventilation will ensure that smog does not accumulate in the tunnel. The mosaic tiles will be stripped, together with the brick wall underneath, and the tunnel will be reinforced with ferro-concrete, after which the mosaic tiles will be restored.