Following a couple of years of tenders and debate between the Hungarian government, BKK (Centre for Budapest Transport), and the Municipality of Budapest, the renovation of the iconic Széchenyi Chain Bridge has finally started.
The Széchenyi Chain Bridge, which was among the top 10 most beautiful bridges in the world and was the first permanent bridge across the Danube in Hungary, was inaugurated in November 1849. Unfortunately, however, the bridge was destroyed when the German soldiers left after the Siege of Budapest. For more interesting things from the past of the Chain Bridge, you could check out THIS article, and if you would like to know how it got its name, read THIS article.
Around January, the winner of the tender got finalised by the committee, and the Board of Directors at BKK accepted the decision. It will be the A-Híd Zrt. that renovates the bridge that has been in need of serious renovation for quite some time.
According to Hvg, the winning tender put forth a net cost of HUF 18.8 billion (€51.5 million) which ended up being a gross total of HUF 26.75 billion (€73.3 million).
This latter includes VAT, inspector and independent expert fees, etc., and a 10% reserve. In January, there was a little delay on the government’s promised support contract, but the Municipality of Budapest said that if necessary, the municipality will provide the full cost of the renovation so that the work can start.
For all of those who are currently in Hungary and would like to see the Chain Bridge, we have bad news;
the renovation of the bridge started by closing off the pedestrian walkways on the bridge and the areas near the bridgeheads. This will be where the renovation works will be fulfilled and the last area to be reopened.
Hvg says that, at first, A-Híd will establish the scaffolding and crane tracks that will help with the oncoming renovation. Although the pedestrian walkways have already been closed as of Wednesday, March 17th, the traffic on Széchenyi Chain Bridge will only be closed around mid-June this year. Until then, buses 16 and 105 during the day and buses 916 and 990 during the night will operate normally.
According to Hvg, the renovation will take quite some time, and
the bridge will reopen to traffic again only in December 2022, but the overall renovation will only be finished by around August 2023.
That is if everything goes according to plan but, unfortunately, in Hungary, things like this are not set in stone.
Source: Hvg.hu, Daily News Hungary