The plans for the new replacement buildings New Gertrauden Bridge and the Mühlendammbrücke in Berlin-Mitte have been changed. Both bridges are to be built narrower.
The traffic administration reacted to the violent protest against the previous car-friendly planning. Senator Bettina Jarasch (Greens) spoke on Wednesday at the presentation of the “optimized” plans of “real traffic turning bridges”.
The New Gertrauden Bridge, which spans the Spree Canal, is to be only 29 meters wide instead of the current 34 meters – i.e. five meters less. The Mühlendamm Bridge over the Spree will be nine meters narrower than it is now, instead of the current 45 it will be 36 meters in the future.
The previous winning design of the 2021 realization competition envisaged a width of 41 meters. Construction of both bridges is scheduled to begin in 2024, with completion scheduled for 2028.
The old plans had triggered a storm of protest. An alliance of citizens’ forum, environmental association BUND, Changing Cities, the Architects’ and Engineers’ Association of Berlin-Brandenburg and the interest group Leipziger Straße had already announced that it would sue against the plans.
Instead of shared use of bus lanes: cyclists are given separate lanes
Both bridges from GDR times are so dilapidated that they have to be rebuilt. In order to avoid a time-consuming planning approval procedure, the Senate wanted to build both buildings almost like their very large predecessors. The very wide highway is currently cutting through the urban space there, and redesigning it would have been impossible.
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The Mühlendammbrücke will now have “comfortable separate cycle paths” from the start, the administration said. So far, cyclists should share the lane with BVG buses. The middle lanes can be used by motorized private transport until the tram route from Alexanderplatz to the Kulturforum is completed.
Jarasch praised the new plans: “They are still suitable for the high traffic loads, but they are ready to be adapted to a Berlin the mobility turnaroundin which car traffic plays a much smaller role than it does now.”
Competition for the new Gertraudenbrücke is still pending
The revision of the plans “followed the evaluation of the committed discussions with citizens and the Mitte district in the participation process for the realization competitions”. The winner of the already completed competition for the Mühlendamm Bridge was informed and involved.
A design competition is also planned for the new Gertraudenbrücke, “which is intended to focus on the qualitative upgrading of the entire urban space on the Spittelmarkt”. The listed Old Gertrauden Bridge, which runs parallel to the new one, will be fully preserved and will be used for cyclists and pedestrians heading west.