The Nydegg Bridge in Bern is to be renovated

As the city of Bern reports, the second oldest bridge is showing its age. A loan for the renovation was approved for the attention of the city council.

Nydeggbrücke. – Keystone

Forty years after the last renovation, the Nydegg Bridge, built in 1844, shows extensive damage to the paved road. Due to the heavy load, deep ruts have formed in the paving, and the numerous deformations are increasingly posing a safety problem.

In addition, the sandstone is badly weathered in places due to defective seals and the drainage of both the road surface and the bridge body is inadequate. The natural stone wall between Nydegggasse and Nydegghöfli (with the so-called twin staircase) also urgently needs to be repaired.

Extensive renovation work

At the same time, there is a need for adjustments in the street space. The sidewalks are to be widened, the situation improved for all road users and the roundabout in front of the bear park slightly moved.

The Nydegg and Bärenpark public transport stops are to be redesigned to be barrier-free in accordance with the specifications of the Federal Disability Equality Act (BehiG). The underground utility lines (gas, water, electricity, telecommunications) also have to be renewed.

Finally, it is planned to replace the 13 weakened trees on the Nydegg side with 20 new ones, thus restoring the original rows of trees.

Bridge closed during the first construction phase

The work to rehabilitate the bridge will be carried out in two stages. During the first construction phase, the bridge body will be resealed over the entire length, the paving will be replaced and expanded, and the catenary will be renewed by Bernmobil.

In this first construction phase, the bridge must be closed to all traffic. Motorized private transport and Bernmobil vehicles will be diverted via the Untertorbrücke. A three-meter-wide footbridge will be set up parallel to the Nydegg Bridge for pedestrians and cyclists.

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According to the current status, the work on the first stage should take place between spring 2025 and autumn 2026. The second stage, which will start two to three years after the first and will involve the rehabilitation of the natural stones, will have no impact on traffic. Most of the work will take place below the bridge.

Referendum 2023

The total costs for the renovation of the bridge, in which the city of Bern, Bernmobil, Energie Wasser Bern and two telecommunications companies are also involved, amount to CHF 34.1 million.

The City of Bern’s share is CHF 27.6 million, of which CHF 27 million is for the general budget (work on the building and in the street area) and CHF 0.6 million for the special settlement drainage bill (financed by fees).

The municipal council has approved the corresponding loan for the attention of the city council and the voters of the city of Bern. The referendum is expected to take place in March 2023.

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