The City of Budapest received only two applications for the Margit
bridge renovation tender and both offers calculate twice the cost the
city had previously estimated (HUF 13 billion or EUR 46.46 million).
The short deadline (the renovation has to be completed by 2011), and
the fact that trams will continue to run on the bridge during the
renovation, may explain the steep estimates, a lecturer at the Budapest
Technical University commented.
Where Budapest will find the necessary
funds remains unclear. The delay in the extension of tram lines 1 and 3
could free up HUF 10 billion (35.74 million), but would cause the city
to lose HUF 33 billion (EUR 117.95 million) worth of EU funds, possibly
for good, as the Hungarian capital will receive far less subsidies
after 2013, due to its high level of GDP.
“Everything is getting more
and more expensive. I do not want to accuse anyone of being corrupt, so
the only thing I can think of is that precious metals will be used
during the renovation,” City Council opposition leader and Fidesz MP
István Tarlós quipped when asked about the higher costs.