Prague picks Troja footbridge contractor, construction could begin in two weeks

Praguers will be able to get from Stromovka to the Prague Zoo next year via a footbridge.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 29.08.2019 11:04:32 (updated on 29.08.2019) Reading time: 3 minutes

Praguers will be able to get from Stromovka to the Prague Zoo next year via a footbridge. The Prague City Council chose a contractor for the new Troja footbridge to replace the one that collapsed in December 2017, injuring four people.

The city received eight bids from potential suppliers within the deadline. If there are no complications, the footbridge should be open by the end of next year.

Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr (Praha sobě) announced on Twitter that the winner was SMP CZ, part of the Vinci Group. If none of the other bidders appeals the decision, construction can start in two weeks.

“When selecting a contractor, we showed how we want to have competitions for major transport structures in Prague. It was not only the price that mattered to us, but also the professional qualifications so that the new footbridge would be really top quality. Only companies that were economically proficient and above all technically competent could apply,” Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr (Praha sobě) said on the City Hall website.

“The applications also included lists of completed works, lists of technicians, certificates of education, professional qualifications and a description of the technical equipment that the company will use. I am sure that the construction of the new Troja Footbridge is in good hands,” he added.

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Visualization of the new Troja footbridge. via Prague City Hall

The collapsed footbridge will be replaced by a new steel-reinforced structure with a service life of 100 years for less than 130 million CZK. Compared to the original footbridge, it will not corrode from the inside and its condition can be effectively monitored. It is designed to provide easy access to the steel wire ropes so their current condition can be determined effectively.

The price of the winning bid was higher than the original estimates made in 2018, which were between 60 million and 80 million CZK.

The new footbridge will be four meters wide and will now serve pedestrians, cyclists, and people on roller skates. If necessary, Integrated Rescue System vehicles can also travel over it.

The price guarantees a highly professional level of construction and quality materials, according to City Hall. The contract includes, among other things, land preparation, approach areas, staircases, electric lighting and greenery treatments.

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Troja footbridge after collapse. via Roman Půta – HZS Praha

“Prague needs just such quality bridges. All Prague residents know the debt that the city owes to its bridges. In addition to the new design competitions for the upcoming construction work, I have also strengthened the inspection of bridges, and renovations are now being determined due to more detailed technical surveys. We also carry out load tests, thanks to which we know the bridges in detail and plan the renovations faster and in better quality,” Scheinherr said.

The previous City Hall administration called for a temporary bridge to be built before the permanent one. That is no longer in the plan. Currently a ferry takes people from Císařský ostrov to Troja.

In January, Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) promised on Twitter a new bridge would be in place by February 2020, but that turned out to be too ambitious.

Before it collapsed, the Troja footbridge was found ot be in poor condition, but nothing was done.

Troja footbridge before it collapsed.

An examination of the Troja footbridge bridge in 2014 showed that corrosion of the steel support cables had weakened the bridge. In 2011, the last time the bridge was repaired, engineers said it had between five and seven years of use left.

The failed bridge, designed by architect Jiří Stráský, was completed in 1984. It replaced a bridge that was destroyed in a flood in 1981.

The collapse of the Troja footbridge drew attention to the overall condition of bridges in the city. Almost one-fifth of the 700 bridges in Prague were found to be in poor, very poor or emergency condition, according to a report submitted to City Hall’s ransportation Committee by the Technical Roadways Administration (TSK).

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