Main Budapest bridge receives an upgrade

The Margit Bridge in Budapest, linking Buda and Pest across the Danube, is the focus of a major project making it more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists while improving the traffic flow for road users.

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Margit Bridge not only links Buda to Pest but it also connects Margit Island to the rest of Budapest. The bridge, which crosses the River Danube, dates from the nineteenth century and is part of one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in the city. It measures 607.7 m in length. The two sides of the bridge are angled at 165 degrees from each other from the central point on Margit Island where there is an 84 m long side bridge providing access to the island.

The overall project aims to both improve the level of service of the bridge and to provide better accessibility to public transport. It primarily benefits those residents in Budapest and the surrounding areas in terms of reduced journey times and increased safety.

Bringing Margit Bridge into the twenty-first century

In recent years, traffic on the bridge has increased significantly reaching approximately 73 500 passenger car units per day with public transport adding a further 115 000 passengers per day on trams and buses. Obviously, this is far beyond the capacity imagined when the bridge was originally conceived and constructed.

Margit Bridge needs to be able to manage modern transport loads in order to fulfil its role within the urban transport network. Due to the wide scope of the project, there are improvements for all transport users in their journeys whether they travel by foot, bike, tram, bus or car. In addition, there is improved accessibility for people with disabilities. The region also benefits from the employment created throughout the implementation phase of the project.

Rejuvenation from end to end

Margit Bridge, under this project, is undergoing significant works, from its structural supports to its functionality for users and to its aesthetic appeal. The scope of the work includes reconstruction of the pillars supporting the structure, the repair of steel structural elements where required, replacement of the existing concrete deck of the bridge by a steel deck, and treatment to protect the steel elements of the bridge from corrosion.

These measures ensure that the bridge remains a landmark of the city and a vital part of the infrastructure for years to come. As the bridge has historical value being part of the city’s UNESCO heritage, the project encompasses the partial restoration of its original features.

In addition to these structural elements, the works include the widening of the pedestrian and bicycle paths on each side of the bridge, renewal of the tramway tracks and installation of new traffic control signs and signalling systems.

The improved bridge is fully opened up to traffic (including the wing-bridge linking the main bridge to Margit Island) following the major reconstruction elements of the project since October 2011, but minor accessory works remain to be carried out. The bridge is operated by Fővárosi Közterület-fenntartó Zrt. (Budapest Public Space Maintenance Company), which is under the control and ownership of the Municipality of Budapest.

Total and EU funding

The project “Development of Margit bridge and the connecting transport system in Budapest” has a total eligible budget of EUR 109 553 280 with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 22 338 049 under the "Central Hungary" operational programme for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date