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UPDATE – Years of delay is expected in the renovation of the Chain Bridge

UPDATE – Years of delay is expected in the renovation of the Chain Bridge reports that, despite previous estimations, the Tunnel, the Chain Bridge and Clark Ádám Square will not be renovated at the same time. Although in the proposal of the general assembly in April, they emphasised the practical side of realising the three projects simultaneously, now it seems that there will be some years of delay. Therefore, if everything goes according to the recent plan, a traffic closure can be expected in the area for the following 6 years. Here is why.

As we have already reported, based on the previous plan concerning the renovation of the Tunnel, the Chain Bridge and Clark Ádám Square, the renovation process in the capital was expected to would take 2-2.5 years. At that time, it was already known that this would be a large scale project requiring around 22.3 billion forints (74.3 million euros), but then it was also presumed that the three famous locations in the area would be renovated at the same time between 2017 and 2019.

In fact, the project has become inevitable to carry out due to the increasing traffic in the capital, but it would also serve the interest of pedestrians who frequently block the vehicle traffic.

Based on the latest plan, less than 1 billion forints (3 million euros) would be spent in the first year of the reconstruction while in the second (2018) and third (2019) years, more than 10 billion forints (33 million euros) would be devoted to the construction works.

The decision regarding the project recommended by Gábor Bagdy and Balázs Szeneczey, Vice Mayors, was made in April, but in this year’s budget, the three workflow processes were indicated separately. Furthermore, both the dates of execution and the money devoted to the construction were modified.

budapest tunnel chain bridge

The Tunnel and the Chain Bridge in the background /Bódis Krisztián / Budapest Images/

Let’s see how the project plan was modified!

The renovation of the Chain Bridge

The Chain Bridge would be renovated between 2018 and 2021 from around 11.1 billion forints. This means that 2.2 billion forints (7 million euros) would be spent on the construction works this year, 3.3 billion forints (11 million euros) in 2019 and 2020 and 2.2 billion forints (7 million euros) in 2021.

The renovation of the Tunnel and Clark Ádám Square

The well-known Tunnel would be reconstructed between 2021 and 2024 from 5.7 billion forints (19 million euros) while the renovation of Clark Ádám Square would start in 2023 and finish in 2024. According to the plans, this investment would require less than 400 million forints (1.3 million euros).

Furthermore, in this year’s budget, the underpass for trams located at the bridgehead of the Chain Bridge is also among the plans of the project to realise. This would take place between 2018 and 2020 from around 5.2 billion forints (17.3 million euros).

If the plan becomes reality, then pedestrians and drivers would have to do without this prominent traffic intersection for around 6 years.

Some politicians openly express their view about the delayed reconstruction. Csaba Horváth, a member of the Social Democratic Party, believes that it is not practical at all to postpone the renovation works and at the vote held in April, he argued for the reconstruction of the whole Széchenyi Square at the same time. He also holds that it is a great problem that István Tarlós, Lord Mayor of Budapest, does not discuss the financial situation of the city with the government.

Erzsébet Gy. Németh, a representative of the Democratic Coalition, shared her opinion adding that the capital cannot procure the necessary financial sources even for the renovation of the metro line. This is why such investments as that of the Tunnel and the Bridge need to be postponed.

An urging problem

The renovation of the area is a pressing problem of the capital since the Tunnel is in an awful condition. The present brick vault should be taken down; a new reinforced concrete wall should be set up, new modern lighting facilities and a fire-protection system should be installed. Clark Ádám Square and the Chain Bridge would be better approachable for pedestrians and cyclists after the construction works, and the expansion of the subways and the reconstruction of its steps would also serve the interest of the locals.

We are curious about how the area will look like in years. 

Featured image:  Bódis Krisztián / Budapest Images/


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