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Doprastav/MCE Linz

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Austro-Slovakian joint venture contractor Doprastav/MCE Linz had a tense 12 hours last weekend in Bratislava when the barge carrying the end of the new Kosicka road bridge across the river Danube became stuck.

The elegant steel arch bridge has been constructed alongside the river over the last two years and was to be positioned by floating one end of the 231m main span over the river, pivoting on a pot bearing at the other pier abutment.

But when the 5,240t bridge was jacked along heavy steel rails on to its barges its weight forced them on to the river bottom.

Emptying all ballast and some additional lift from two construction cranes eventually freed the pontoon.

A successful swing of the bridge followed on Sunday with the bridge jacked on to its new permanent pier on Monday with just 12 hours of a four day river possession remaining.

The new bridge is built for the Slovakian capital's Metro authority with funds from the European Investment Bank.

Consultant FaberMaunsell with local firm Pontex is engineering adviser. The bridge opens next May.

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