On Friday the foundation stone of the new Hernád Bridge to be constructed by KÉSZ Építő Zrt. was laid in Kechnec, Slovakia. The bridge will connect the Slovakian settlement with Abaújvár situated on the other side of the country border.
The construction of the bridge, which will function as a new border crossing point between Hungary and Slovakia, will be completed by October this year. Hernád Bridge is built with the support of the European Union, in the framework of the most significant joint development project in the history of Hungary and Slovakia. As a result of the project, which involves the construction of 11 new roads, 7 bridges and the creation of 2 new ferry connections, by 2020 the number of border crossing possibilities between the two countries will be doubled.
The 72-metre-long bridge with a reinforced concrete structure is built in the place of the original wooden bridge, which was destroyed during World War II, creating a direct connection between the two settlements again after more than seven decades. Access roads on both sides will also be constructed to join the bridge, which has been designed for two-way vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic.
“So far, if we wanted to cross the river, we had to travel more than 22 kilometers to the closest bridge, when the two settlements are situated at a distance of only four and a half kilometers from each other”, said Tamás Sivák, mayor of Abaújvár at the opening ceremony. He added: creating a direct road connection, besides other benefits, will also very probably facilitate the development of tourism.
József Konkoly, mayor of Kechnec, spoke appreciatively of the infrastructural development reconnecting settlements situated within the same region. “There used to be a bridge here for decades, and the fact that we will have a bridge again will create good circumstances for collaboration between the two settlements and the border regions”, said Mr Konkoly referring to the vicinity of the Kechnec industrial park and the opportunities offered by it.
“A new bridge always bears outstanding significance in the life of a region, as a shorter, faster and simpler route has innumerable economic benefits. In the case of Hernád Bridge, however, it goes further than that. We are not simply connecting two banks, but two countries, two cultures, strengthening cohesion by this within Europe”, emphasized László Szalados, CEO of KÉSZ Építő Zrt. “In the past years we built the nation's airport, the nation's main square, and now we can lay the foundation stone of a bridge connecting nations. This is a great honor, as well as a great responsibility.”