Renovation costs of Budapest s landmark bridge skyrocket

The fact that the costs of revamping Budapest s landmark bridge have increased by 25 per cent in a year is unacceptable, Hungary s ruling party said in a statement, which also touched on the year-long procrastination by Budapest s leftist-liberal leadership and the controversies surrounding the public procurement tenders.


„Why does it cost five billion (forints) more to renovate Chain Bridge if the project is managed by Mr Karacsony?” – asks the Budapest group of Hungary s ruling Fidesz party in a statement.

The Chain Bridge is a key feature of the view over Budapest s Danube embarkments, listed as a world heritage site, and its planned revamp has been dragging on for months now. Since October 2019, the Municipality of Budapest – headed by the capital s left-leaning liberal mayor Gergely Karacsony – has delayed the public procurement procedures regarding the renovation of the bridge for months, first citing a lack of resources, and then declaring the the previous city administration s invitation to tender (ITT) unsuccessful.

In its statement, Fidesz reacted to the results of the new public procurement procedure completed a few days ago.

„Fidesz s Budapest group finds it unacceptable that the amount to be paid for the same technical solutions has increased by more then 25 per cent in one year. It is all the more unacceptable when Budapest s mayor whines on a daily basis that the capital has no money, making the case questionnable, and even suspicious,” the statement says.

The Centre for Budapest Transport (BKK) announced on Monday that the public procurement procedure for the renovation of the Chain Bridge was successfully completed.

„The choice fell on the exact same company which made the most favourable offer during the previous tender, under the tenure of [former Budapest Mayor] Istvan Tarlos. But the company then undertook the same task for five billion forints (14 million euros) less!”

This is the same company that invited Deputy Mayor Kata Tutto to its Christmas party as a VIP guest, and which Mr Karacsony was personally concerned about, when the Public Procurement Authority dropped last summer s tender for irregularities.

„Contrary to previous plans, all Mayor Karacsony and his team have done in a year was to erase from the tender the renovation of the Castle Tunnel and the tram tunnel on the Pest side, and narrowed it down to only encompass the Chain Bridge. In order to expand the number of bidders and make the bids more favourable, the tender set out that the contractor would receive a 5 billion forints (14 million euros) downpayment immediately after the conclusion of the contract. At least that was the reason, but what actually happened was the exact opposite. No new bidders applied and the prices skyrocketed without a reason. It is intriguing that the amount has increased by exactly 5 billion forints, which the winning company will receive in advance,” the Budapest group of Hungary s governing Fidesz party said.

„And we didn t even mention the fact that they entrusted Transparency International with monitoring the public procurement procedure for 25 thousand forints (70 euros) an hour. They will surely be effective,” the party representatives added.



caim bridge, gergely karácsony, Hungary