A consortium of Metrostav TBR and Strabag has won a contract to reconstruct the Dr Edvard Benes Bridge in Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic.
The €22 million contract will start in 2025 for completion at the end of 2026.
Before work on the bridge starts, a temporary footbridge for pedestrians and cyclists will be constructed next year. Detours will be set up for drivers.
Bridge repairs were originally to start in 2020 and heavy vehicles have been banned for several years.
The 9.2m-wide steel arch through bridge was built between 1934 and 1936 was the town’s second bridge over the Elbe. It was the first bridge in what was then Czechoslovakia to be composed of two hollow concrete girders (height 12m, span 114m) with suspended bridge deck. It was also Czechoslovakia’s first reinforced concrete bridge with a span of over 100m. It has an arch rise of 12m above the deck.
It was named after Dr. Edvard Benes, who ruled the then Czechoslovakia from 1935 until his ouster from office in 1948. The bridge gained notoriety in late 1945, just after the end of WWII, when ethnic Germans were killed as they fled persecution in the city.
The Elbe River port of Usti nad Labem has a population of around 92,000 and is a major industrial centre and railway junction. The Usti nad Labem region is seeking funding from European sources for the reconstruction programme, according to Czech media reports. The D8 motorway - part of European route E55 - from Prague to Dresden intersects the western border of Ústí nad Labem. Meanwhile, European route E442 from Liberec to Karlovy Vary also passes through the city.
For an illustrated video reconstruction of the bridge, click here.