The Budapest Transport Centre (BKK) announced that there would be restrictions introduced regarding the iconic Chain Bridge of Budapest. From this day on, vehicles above 5 tonnes, such as tourist buses and trucks, will not be allowed to cross the Chain Bridge.
The new regulation does not pertain to public transportation, such as BKK’s buses, and bikes, cars, vans, and smaller buses can continue to use the bridge, Index reports. The bridge’s structure is inspected every single day. According to recent status reports, more severe weight restrictions need to be established, hence the new regulation.
The Chain Bridge has not been renovated since 1986. The idea of a revamp first emerged in 2002. In 2017, the Budapest General Assembly decided that the bridge’s bearing load must be brought up to appropriate safety standards, according to the reasoning given for the project. All 28 representatives voted to approve the 22-billion-forint (72 million euros) project covered by the city’s own resources. According to the original plans, the renovation would have started in June 2017 and would have been finished by December 2019. Work never actually started due to the lack of resources.
Last May, finally, a tender was open for the reconstruction, but then-mayor István Tarlós deemed all applications too expensive.
Now, the newly elected mayor of Budapest, Gergely Karácsony, claims that the revamp project still lacks about 20 billion forints (60,600,000 Euros). Unfortunately, according to the status reports, reconstruction can no longer be put off.
Karácsony said that the project needed to be redefined, and the bridge’s function also needs to be thought over once again. Index guesses that if there is no budget for the reconstruction, the bridge might become a footbridge in the future.