Prague's new Troja footbridge may be ready by next summer, but construction hasn’t started yet

The original bridge linking Stromovka park and the Prague Zoo collapsed in Dec. 2, 2017, injuring four people and sparking a wave of bridge inspections

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 25.07.2019 16:20:20 (updated on 25.07.2019) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Troja Footbridge will miss its February 2020 opening date, but could still be in operation by next summer.

The original bridge linking Stromovka park and the Prague Zoo collapsed in Dec. 2,2017, injuring four people and sparking a wave of bridge inspections.

“The term for starting work is now the end of August and start of September. We plan to put it into operation in the summer of 2020,” Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr (Praha sobě) said.

In January, Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) promised on Twitter a new bridge would be in place by February 2020.

“Did you know we approved the renewal of the Troja Footbridge? It will be wider (4 m), so it can be a cycle path. With a surface suitable for skaters plus lighting and handrails. Safe. Completion: February 2020. The repair of Prague bridges is a priority of the deputy Mayor for Transport Adam Scheinherr and the coalition,” Hřib said.

A supplier has not yet been selected and construction has not started, making that deadline impossible.

In May, Scheinherr said construction would start at the beginning of the holiday eason,

Visualization of the new Troja footbridge. via Praha sobě

“The tender for selecting a contractor is still ongoing, and the deadline for submitting bids is Aug. 1. There was a delay from the originally planned date due to the need for the City Council to approve the exclusion of candidates after the first phase of the public contract,” Scheinherr said.

“So, after the bids have been submitted, and evaluated by the Council and a winner is selected, there is nothing in the way of starting the work,” he added. “It will have a lifespan of 100 years,”

After the collapse of the bridge, a ferry service was introduced. It lacks the capacity of the bridge, though. Prague Zoo in 2018 saw a slight drop in visitors compared to 2017, and blamed that in part on the lack of the footbridge.

troja footbridge
Visualization of the new Troja footbridge. via Prague City Hall

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.

In the long term, the left bank of the Vltava River and Troja should also be linked by link two more footbridges. One would be downstream from the one that collapsed. Another would lead from Podbaba to the zoo and should also have trams, though Prague 8 objects to the tram’s route. A cable car across the Vltava has also been proposed.

Troja footbridge before it collapsed. via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

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 Transportation Committee by the Technical Administration of Roadways (TSK) in January.

Since then, Libeňský most was temporarily shut down until it could be propped up. Extensive repairs are planned. Hlávkův most also is in need of repair, though it is not in as bad a shape as Libeňský most.

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