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Fifth Bratislava bridge planned to arc over Danube river

"Everyone who travels during the rush hours knows how hard it is to get to the center from Petržalka."
Ján Kotuľa, Bratislava's deputy mayorA gentle haze of smog SETTLES on Bratislava from the number of cars operating in the city. Bearing the brunt of this new onslaught are the city's four bridges that span the Danube river, causing traffic problems and potential hazards as they crumble under all the wear and tear. Because of this, the city is planning to build a fifth bridge between Starý Most (Old Bridge - originally built by Russian soldiers in 1945) and the Prístavny crossing, over Bratislava's shipping yard, in the next two years.


Arch over the Danube. An artist's conception of a planned fifth bridge that would cross over the Danube river by the year 2000.
City Hall


"Everyone who travels during the rush hours knows how hard it is to get to the center from Petržalka."

Ján Kotuľa, Bratislava's deputy mayor


A gentle haze of smog SETTLES on Bratislava from the number of cars operating in the city. Bearing the brunt of this new onslaught are the city's four bridges that span the Danube river, causing traffic problems and potential hazards as they crumble under all the wear and tear. Because of this, the city is planning to build a fifth bridge between Starý Most (Old Bridge - originally built by Russian soldiers in 1945) and the Prístavny crossing, over Bratislava's shipping yard, in the next two years.

The new bridge, so far called Košická bridge, will join Dolonozemská street in Petržalka, which is connected to the four lane E65 highway that goes to the Czech Republic, and Košická street at the other end of the river.

City Hall has been planning to build a fifth bridge at this location for over twenty years. It has become more urgent since Starý Most's structure is sagging. Just a few months ago, the mayor's office was planning to complete the bridge by the year 2010. But due to the quick growth in the number of vehicles that traverse the bridges - twice as many as in 1991 - a bridge had to be built sooner than anticipated.

"We need to build the bridge in the next two years," said Ján Kotuľa, Bratislava's deputy mayor. "Everyone who travels during the rush hours knows how hard it is to get to the center from Petržalka."

Support for the bridge is universal. "We support the planned proposal, especially as it will help to avoid traffic jams in the mornings from Petržalka," said Vladimír Bajan, Petržalka's mayor.

According to the City Hall proposal, the Košická bridge will be done by the year 2000. The proposed bridge has four lanes, with sidewalks for pedestrians and bicycles. "This year we are going to do some preparation work," Kotua said. "The City devoted 3 million Sk ($85,000) for this year's planning and designing of the bridge. According to our plans, if the proposal is accepted by City Hall's legislature, we should start construction itself in March of 1999. The construction should be over by November of 2000.

The designers of Bratislava-based Dopravoprojekt came up with four designs for the bridge. The design favored by Kotuža and the designers themselves is known as variant A, otherwise called "arc." Kotuža described the "arch" as a "conservative and modern design at the same time."

The stumbling block in the project is financing. "We estimate the cost for construction to be around 2 billion Sk ($57 million)," Kotuža said. The final cost, however, could be as low as 1.5 billion Sk ($42 million) according to city officials. The city is currently looking for an investor who would be willing to finance the project.

Kotuža said that they were considering leasing a contract for the bridge to a foreign investor. However, he did not rule out the possibility of a Slovak investor. There will be a tender for financing the project this year.

The bridge will automatically raise the price of the properties close by. The city has planned an interesting complex of multiplex buildings on both sides of the Danube for cultural, administrative and business purposes. "The city is encouraging investors to invest here into projects we would like to see in these places in the future," Kotuža concluded.

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