Orbán, Fico lay cornerstone for new bridge at Komárom
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his Slovak counterpart Robert Fico laid the cornerstone Tuesday for a new bridge spanning the river Danube between the Hungarian town of Komárom and Slovakiaʼs Komárno. The cost of the bridge is EUR 91.2 million.
Fico (left) and Orbán at the cornerstone-laying ceremony (photo: Károly Árvai/kormany.hu).
“The construction of this bridge is proof that the Hungarians and Slovakians believe in a Europe that is open and freely accessible to European citizens,” Orbán was quoted as saying at the ceremony on official government website kormany.hu. “Visegrád Group [V4] cooperation is based on strong foundations, because the countries of Central Europe have leaders who think not only of their own countries, but also in terms of Central Europe.”
The new bridge between Hungary and Slovakia is to be built west of the existing railway bridge to relieve downtown Komárom and Komárno.
The tender for construction of the new bridge was won by the H-M Dunahíd consortium, comprising Hídépítő Zrt. and Mészáros and Mészáros Kft. The net construction cost is EUR 91.2 million, and the new bridge and its new approach road sections are expected to be opened in autumn 2019. The investment will be financed from European Union, Slovak and Hungarian sources.
According to kormany.hu, the prime minister observed that over the past three years six new links have been established between Slovakia and Hungary, with the inauguration of a freight ferry meaning that the average distance between border crossing points has been reduced to ten kilometers. He noted, however, that this is still far less than the distance of 2–4 kilometers characteristic in Western Europe, so “we have a lot of work to do in future.”
Once the new road bridge is completed, freight traffic will be able to reach the Slovakian border via the M1 motorway without having to enter any settlements, meaning that noise and air pollution in neighboring towns and villages will be significantly reduced, the official government website noted.
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