Budapest's Margit híd, spans the Danube at the southern tip of Margaret Island. The bridge was last overhauled in 1978.
According to the original deadline for completion of renovations of Budapest's Margit híd, the bridge should have been opened to traffic on Monday, August 23. However, the company carrying out the work on the key Budapest crossing says it will only be opened to automobile traffic at the end of this year at the earliest, while the larger reconstruction project could go on for as long as another year.
The City of Budapest signed a contract with Mh 2009 Konzorcium (Hídépítő-Strabag-Közgép) for the works on August 10, 2009. At the end of last year, the prosecutor's office launched an investigation into the project for mismanagement of funds.
As part of the renovation, the tram platforms will be widened and made easy to use for the disabled. There will be no separate bus lanes, but the tram tracks will be reinforced to be usable for buses.
A pedestrian crossing with traffic lights, which will also serve the disabled, will be created at the opening of the island. Főmterv stressed that the pedestrian crossing will not cause further congestion, as the traffic lights will be synchronized with those at the two ends of the bridge. The dilapidated underpass will be closed to the public and used by repair personnel only. The stairs leading to the underpass will be removed, and the lookout terrace on the south side of the bridge expanded.
The sidewalk on the side of the island will be widened by two meters to allow for a bicycle lane to be built. Important changes for motorists will include the reduction of the currently sharp, 30-degree bend at the middle of the bridge, and the widening of all four lanes.
The overhead tram cables will be suspended on period-style posts. The bridge will also receive new railings and decorative lights, which will accent the pillars and the statues. The bridge is currently closed to cars and open only to public transport and emergency vehicles. The island itself, however, will also be accessible by foot. The total expected cost of the works will be around Ft 12 billion (over €47 million).