The northern parts of Budapest are substantially more developed than its southern parts. While proceeding 10 km-s of the city centre towards the north we still find a rather developed and organised urban fabric, however this cannot be said about the southern region. In view of the above fact and that the last crossing over the Danube, i.e. the Megyeri Bridge, which was built in 2008, also lies north, it is evident that the next development should be carried out in the south.
Csepel and its surrounding have tremendous untapped potential, the area is the unexploited treasure of Budapest. The key to the rapid development of this district is the establishment of a quick and direct – currently still missing – connection with Buda and its neighbouring districts.
Within the framework of the extensive technical/professional conciliation process during the past years bearing in mind the effective national development plans and those of the capital city, the existing urban structure and transportation system of the capital was revised again with exceptional care. As a result of these particularly extensive consultation process, a number of correlated transportation and urban development objectives and projects were defined, which are of key importance for Budapest and predominantly the southern Budapest area and are forward-looking in respect of the capitol’s development.
On the basis of these objectives, in agreement with the Municipal Government of Budapest, the Government has decided that preparations for a new 2x3-laned – including a tram way – bridge over the Danube must be commenced to link Galvani street and Illatos road (Galvani utca – Illatos út) to create a new river crossing (“New Danube Bridge”).
There is professional consensus concerning the need for the New Danube Bridge since the 1980s. So much so, that in 1993, the Budapest Municipal Assembly adopted a decision on its construction which, however, was never started due to lack of funds. By contrast to the approximately 1 kilometre distance between bridges in the downtown area, there is no river crossing at this designated section of the Danube for about 15 km. In fact, there has been no direct link between the Buda districts and District XXI within the city limits for almost 70 years, since Csepel was merged into Budapest on 1 January 1950.
The need for this bridge is evidently justified by the circular and radial road network of the capital. In absence of a bridge, the previously under-utilised areas located south of the city could only develop with significant compromises. This is particularly true for the northern parts of Csepel Island, which, in spite of their remarkable features and the closeness of downtown Budapest, was not able to develop adequately up until now.
In addition to helping explore, approach and develop the relevant areas, the New Danube Bridge can bring relief to the overcrowded downtown area by removing a significant part of the traffic. Through the future extension of the route, a new ring road in Budapest can be developed, providing a direct link between Újbuda and Csepel, Ferencváros and Kispest and Kőbánya. It is for this reason that the development plans of Budapest have, for 30 years, included the construction of a new Danube bridge.
Apart from its primary effect on the city’s transport system and urban texture, the construction of a new bridge essentially determines the cityscape of its immediate neighbourhood. The New Danube Bridge will thus play a significant role in shaping the city’s image, determining the cityscape of Southern Budapest and the quality of life of local residents for decades or perhaps even centuries to come. Consequently, the construction of the bridge is not only an opportunity spanning over generations but also a responsibility of a similar magnitude, which must be exercised with proper circumspection. With that in mind, the Government has agreed that, as an exception, an international design contest be announced for the first time since 1894 in order to select the designer.
Therefore, KKBK Nonprofit Zrt., acting as the Contracting Entity, issues an invitation and pre-qualification based, international architecture Design Competition for the design of a new 2x3-lane width Danube bridge, i.e. the New Danube Bridge to be built. The bridge is the central structure of the road from southwest-Buda through the Csepel Island and Illatos út right up to Üllői út, the road infrastructure of which, simultaneously with the bridge over the Ráckeve – (Soroksár) – Danube arm is designed by the Nemzeti Infrastuktúra Fejlesztő Zrt. (National Infrastructure development Plc.).