The Fate of Libeň Bridge: An Architectural Marvel Awaits Verdict

Jan Handrejch

The fate of the so-called inundation bridge at Prague’s Voctářova Street in Libeň hangs in the balance. If experts declare the bridge’s condition hazardous next week, its demolition could begin within a few weeks, possibly in March. Jozef Sinčák, the head of Prague’s Technical Road Administration, announced this to councilors on Thursday.

Part of the bridge was closed to all traffic at the beginning of January, and discussions about its reconstruction are ongoing. The Monitoring Council of the bridge is expected to convene on Monday or Tuesday, and if the demolition is approved, it could take three to four months.

Sinčák indicated that if some joint tiles were found displaced according to measurements, it could accelerate work. According to current assumptions, trams will not operate in the area for about two years. Road builders anticipate it will still be possible to use the bridge over the Vltava from 1928, which is not disrepair.

If the council does not decide on the emergency condition of the bridge with an arch width of 48 meters, it will have to wait for permission, according to Sinčák. The bridge could be dynamically supported, but the work would take longer.

The opposition at the meeting of the Prague City Council on Thursday for mutual accusations exploited the situation around the bridge. According to the opposition ANO, political responsibility is borne by the former mayor’s deputy, Adam Scheinherr (Prague itself). The bridge’s construction, an architectural marvel signed by architect Pavel Janák, is yet another stage, and it is yet to be replaced with a reinforced concrete replica, for which construction approval is still pending.