The renovation of the Chain Bridge has long been a hot potato, both in terms of prestige and practicality. The closure of Budapest’s most revered landmark would have serious long-term consequences for the city’s traffic. Now, according to deputy mayor in charge of finance, Ambrus Kiss, the whole project is due for a rethink.

The onerous renovation of the Chain Bridge has been delayed for years. The tender put out in 2019 was valid until January this year but declared unsuccessful as bids were coming in for almost twice the available resources. Give the moratorium on any kind of commitment until September and the further reduction of resources, delays to the launch of the tender may stretch until 2021 – and the renovation of the bridge is unlikely to begin before the second half of next year.

Speaking to the Hungarian press, Ambrus Kiss, the deputy mayor in charge of finance, revealed that the capital is being forced to rethink future projects due to the drop in revenue, and will be forced to freeze development and procurement worth about 60 billion forints. Practically all investment will be stopped, except for the reconstruction of metro line 3, being carried out almost exclusively from EU funds, and the Pest transport link with plans in place.

Kiss headed the economic working group formed in March to draw up this year’s municipal budget. With having to support the city’s theatres and the significant drops in revenue from public transport, the zoo and other attractions, this week his team is submitting a proposal for a reformed budget to the Metropolitan Assembly.