The Bratislava City Council has decided as of January to exclude private vehicles from the city's Old Bridge (Starý Most), which connects the Old Town to the borough of Petržalka, mayor of Bratislava Andrej Ďurkovský told the TASR newswire at a press conference on November 19. The idea behind the move is to preserve the bridge's safety and reliability.
"As of next year, only public transport will be allowed on the bridge, with the vehicles obliged to keep 70 metres apart," reads a Council statement.
Ďurkovský added that the bridge, which spans the Danube River, will also remain open to cyclists and pedestrians. The bridge is currently used by around 16,000 vehicles daily, which is approximately 5 percent of all traffic crossing bridges in Bratislava. According to Ďurkovský, the Council will announce alternative routes for motorists, who will have to get used to using the New Bridge (Nový Most) and Apollo Bridge instead.
According to tests carried out in recent years, the bridge has deteriorated dramatically, as it has had to carry far more weight than originally intended. Experts have recommended that private vehicles should be excluded as an immediate precaution. Ďurkovský confirmed that the city planned to reconstruct the bridge. If the Culture Ministry declares it to be a cultural-heritage site, the reconstruction work will focus on the welding.
"If we have to remove a pillar and raise the deck this would mean a completely new bridge, and we would put it out to tender," he added. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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20. Nov 2008 at 10:30