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Széchenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest

Business contract signed for the renovation of Budapest’s Chain Bridge

Business contract signed for the renovation of Budapest’s Chain Bridge

The iconic bridge will have a new look in time for the capital’s 150th birthday in 2023

The process of renovating the Széchenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest has cleared the final hurdle: on Tuesday, the Budapest Transport Center (BKK) and the winner of the public tender, A-Híd Zrt., signed the business contract for the bridge overhaul. Thanks to this act, the upgrade of the iconic Budapest landmark and cultural heritage symbol of Hungary can now begin, BKK said in a statement.

Closures coming

From this spring until the completion of renovation works, which is expected by the autumn of 2023, the bridge will be off limits to passengers due to scaffolding being installed. And from the beginning of this summer, it will be completely closed for car traffic for 18 months.

To start the reconstruction works as soon as possible, the Municipality of Budapest undertakes to provide the full amount of HUF 18, 8 billion (EUR 52, 4 million) agreed with A-Híd Zrt., hoping that the central government will not backtrack on its promise to allocate additional HUF 6 billion in support of the project. 

The Chain Bridge is the treasure of the country and Budapest, and it is our duty to preserve it,” said Katalin Walter, CEO of BKK during the signing of the contract with her counterpart from A-Híd Zrt. László Sal. She noted that 32 years after the last renovation, the renewal of the Chain Bridge is long overdue and voiced her confidence that Budapest residents will share the commitment of the city administration despite the inconvenience caused by transport disruptions. “We are working to give Budapest a worthy gift for its 150th birthday in 2023,’’ added Katalin Walter.

Upgrade tasks

The renovation of the Széchenyi Chain Bridge will include the following tasks:

  • The existing road section will be resurfaced, and the bridge sidewalks will be demolished and then rebuilt;
  • The remaining steel structures will be repaired and rust-protected;
  • The Stone Lion statues will be given a facelift and the missing monuments will be restored;
  • The underground anchoring chain-chambers will be insulated and renovated and the ventilators on the Buda side will be rebuilt;
  • The Danube flood protection system of the anchoring chambers will be rebuilt;
  • The pedestrian underpasses at the bridgeheads will be widened, the bridgehead stairs will be rebuilt and premises will be refurbished;
  • New LED street lighting and variable spectrum decorative lighting will be installed;
  • The flag-raising bastions on the Pest embankment will be renovated;
  • A pedestrian crossing will be established between the northern and southern sidewalks of the Pest bridgehead. 

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