Deglava bridge to be partially reopened

From May 4 the Deglava bridge will be opened to public and emergency vehicles will, said Māris Demme, a senior official at the State Construction Control Bureau on May 3.

He said that the bridge, which was closed amidst safety concerns and caused traffic congestion across Rīga, will be reopened to public transport, but with a speed limit of 20 km/h. 

Public transportation will be allowed across in intervals, while construction workers are to fortify the bridge's base.

An agreement over reopening the bridge was struck at a meeting between the Rīga City Council and Traffic Department, as well as the Rīga Construction Board, State Police and the State Construction Control Bureau.

But it is still unclear as to when the bridge will be reopened for private vehicular traffic. 

As previously reported by LSM, the bridge was closed on the orders of Interior Minister Sandis Ģirģens after an engineering report drew attention to the bridge's poor state of repair - something also noticed by members of the public for some time.

Despite the closure of the bridge to vehicular traffic, it remains open to cyclists and pedestrians. 

Rīga City Council had not moved to close the bridge, so the minister stepped in, citing public safety concerns and accusing the council of playing with people's lives.

The bridge closure, though no doubt related to safety issues, can also seen as part of a fairly recent development, namely, of the  central Latvian government increasingly willing to step in and overrule matters pertaining to Rīga city management.

The Rīga City Council, ruled by Harmony, which sits in parliamentary opposition, is having nothing short of a disastrous year rife with corruption scandals and failed tenders. Finally, Rīga mayor Nils Ušakovs was fired on April 5 by the central government

But April polls by the SKDS company show that the Harmony party has actually seen its support grow 2% over March, reaching 19% in April.

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