EU presidency: Capital faces repairs and improvement, free wi-fi in Old Town

IN THE upcoming months, vast construction and beautifying works in the streets of the Slovak capital will start, that have been unseen for years.

BratislavaBratislava (Source: Sme)

Bratislava will patch and improve all that can be done in the short time until June, to raise its appeal to the expected 20,000 visitors and delegates who will arrive in the capital of the country presiding over the EU Council.

Both the city administration and government want the city to look as much like a European metropolis as possible and therefore, from mid-March until June, asphalt surfaces on the main roads will be repaired, thus putting Bratislavans before traffic limitations and closures, the etrend.sk website cheekily wrote on January 28.  The repairs will involve the busiest roads and some central squares, as well as the zoo.

The surface of the road on the SNP bridge will be repaired during three weeks of the presidency in August, during which no meetings and sessions are planned in the capital. With this one exception, no other repairs are foreseen between July and December, except for emergency cases.

Bratislava city administration received €15 million for a face-lift of the capital, of which €14 million will go to road surface repairs on two dozen roads, painting bridge rails, renovation of three pedestrian underpasses, addition of benches and greens and printing of promotional materials.

In the Old Town, free wi-fi will be installed, and repairs to above-ground toilets, flower beds, and paving on main streets will be made – all that for one million euros. Free wi-fi should simplify orientation for visitors and participants of sessions but it should also be a benefit for local inhabitants who will endure some limitations during the presidency, etrend wrote. It should become a permanent feature, not just a temporary on, and includes the area of the Bratislava Castle.

Until then, the Old Town would like to make historical Židovská / Jewish Street a pedestrian zone, connecting the historical centre with the castle hill.  For monuments, only the Castle will undergo a complete renovation; this has been planned since 2008 and it will be completed by the time Slovakia’s presidency starts. Some other minor partial repairs will also be done at the Mirbach Palace, Clarissen Church, the clock dial on the town hall tower, and the Primate’s Palace.

During the six months of its presidency, Bratislava will host 20 top events and 200 more at the expert level. Around 20,000 delegates are expected to arrive.

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