18th August 2007
SMP CZ was the winner of the selection procedure that chose which company should do the work. The company will use boats as a base –building machinery is placed there as well as a crane that supplies and picks material necessary for the restoration. There won’t be any bigger machinery on the Bridge during the renovations. “At most, some small rammers or choppers used for working with concrete may appear,” said the SMP CZ director Martin Doksanský
Repairs in the Working Conditions
Both the thoroughfare of the bridge and the stone railing is to be repaired. Builders have prepared a special construction which will extend to just half of the Bridge’s pavement. They will progress from one area to the next, distances between them will match approximately the distance between arches. Passers-by thereby check for themselves how the work progress.
Bridge usability was one of the major priorities the companies, attending the selection procedure, had to fulfil. Renovation won’t influence object of arts’ sale which has a long lasting tradition. “We are glad of that,” said Pavel Kotrč from the Charles Bridge Artist Association. Stalls will disappear only in the areas of repair work, apart from that the life on the Bridge won’t change. After all, the Association contributes to the Bridge’s well being, recently they invested almost two million crowns in the repair of the sculptural group St. Jan of Mathy, St Felix of Valois and St Ivan, which is known by Praguers also by the name Turk.
The repair work will be observed by archaeologists. Regarding the surface of the Bridge, no surprises are expected as there was a research project completed in the sixties. “We don’t know what will appear during the access roads renovation. There can be surprising discoveries for example in the area of the toll house, which used to stand at the lesser Town side. Up to now we don’t know what the original access road looked like,” said archaeologist Radek Podliska from the National Heritage Institute. “The archaeological research was accounted for when plans were made. However, if there is a surprising discovery made which needs detailed documentation, than the renovation may be delayed, stated Martin Doksanský. In such circumstances the city will allow for the hold-up.
“At the end of the first stage of renovation, one of our most significant cultural monuments will have a new pavement for tourists and a brand new gaslight that will bring the Bridge closer to historical times,” said Mayor Pavel Bém. “The second stage of renovation will concern the Bridge’s skin. It will demand different procedures and more time, eight to ten years. Afterwards the Bridge will look like as we all desire.”