Upgrade work has started on Budapest’ Chain Bridge despite the Hungarian capital not yet been given nearly €17 million of federal money for the project.
The money transfer is subject to all other costs being covered by Budapest, according to local media reports.
Earlier this year, contractor A-Hid trumped several companies to win the tender with an offer of €51.1 million to improve the 380m-long, 14.8m-wide suspension bridge. It connects Buda and Pest across the Danube River and will be closed for around 18 months. Total costs for the work are estimated at €75 million.
The Széchenyi Chain Bridge is named after István Széchenyi, a major supporter of its construction between 1839 and 1849. When opened, it was the first permanent bridge over the Danube River that connected the opposite towns of Buda and Pest. At the time, its centre span of 202m was one of the longest in the world.
The Széchenyi Chain Bridge is one of only two surviving bridges designed by English engineer William Tierney Clark. The other is a suspension bridge in England over the River Thames at the town of Marlow, up-river from London.