As I promised before, I'd like to keep your eyes on beautiful details of Hungary. Today's spotlight is the shortest, green bridge of Budapest, the renovated Liberty (Szabadság) Bridge. It was under reconstruction almost 2 years long, it's given back to public at the end of May, 2009. Before cars and truck, pedestrians and bikers could enjoy it until 3 days without traffic (except trams) - these photos were made at that time.
Let's see some historical details before new parts! Liberty Bridge was the third bridge to be constructed in Budapest, it was inaugurated by Francis Joseph I., who hammered in the last silver rivet on the Pest side on 4 October 1896 for Hungarian Millenium (1000 years from Settlement of the Magyars in Hungary). It's designed by János Feketeházy, chief engineer of the Hungarian Railroads at that time.
During World War II, on 16 January 1945, Francis Joseph Bridge, as every other bridge in Budapest, was blown up by retreating German troops. After the end of the war, it would be the first bridge to be reconstructed. Its state was not irreparable, only its central parts had to be rebuilt. It was reopened for traffic on 20 August 1946, its new name being Liberty Bridge. It meant also the first time after the liberation of Hungary that a tram connecting Buda and Pest crossed the bridge.
Liberty Bridge can be classified as a three-span girder bridge with a Gerber truss built in Art Nouveau style. It is 333.6 meters in length, 20.1 meters in width,and connects the southern part of Gellert Hills with the Pest side (Fővám square) of the Danube River. Lateral swings are hindered by its wind tie structure. Both portals are decorated with the coat of arms of Hungary designed by Virgil Nagy and two Turul statues each. (Turuls are falcon-like birds, prominent in ancient Hungarian mythology.)
The current renovation process started in 2007. The works included the following: teel structure and ferro-concrete parts were strengthened, pillars and bridgeheads were repaired, soas the road and the sidewalks, historical reconstruction, and floodlights. The cost of the renovation was more than 5 billion HUF (EU gave half of it).
Some interesting "facts" about bridge and reconstruction.
As you can see it on my shots also, led floodlight is missing from middle of bridge - only two pillars are in spotlight. Public opinion was simply shocked (including me), because it seems like left undone. After several articles and speeches, major of Budapest promised that they will correct and complete it.
Liberty Bridge gets back its original green colour. (The original colour was repainted grey during the world war, since it was the only colour available.)
The original parts of Liberty Bridge can be seen in a park, at the Buda side of Petőfi Bridge.