Fresh setback in fight over Elbe bridge

20th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

20 June 2007, Dresden, Germany (dpa) - A German municipality that is fighting a state-government project to build a road bridge near Dresden suffered a fresh setback, just days before the issue erupts at a UNESCO meeting a world away in New Zealand. Conservationists who oppose the new Waldschloesschen Bridge being built across river meadows are forecasting that the UNESCO member nations may cancel the park-like Elbe Valley's status as one of Germany's world heritage sites. Judges rejected Tuesday a bid by

20 June 2007

Dresden, Germany (dpa) - A German municipality that is fighting a state-government project to build a road bridge near Dresden suffered a fresh setback, just days before the issue erupts at a UNESCO meeting a world away in New Zealand.

Conservationists who oppose the new Waldschloesschen Bridge being built across river meadows are forecasting that the UNESCO member nations may cancel the park-like Elbe Valley's status as one of Germany's world heritage sites.

Judges rejected Tuesday a bid by the Dresden city council to stop the state of Saxony from building the bridge about 4 kilometres east of the city centre. The state has used its authority to over-ride city powers.

Dresden city council spokesman Kai Schulz said the city would take its case urgently to an appeal tribunal, alleging the winning tender had been improperly chosen.

Last week, the city published a design for a less chunky bridge, but the state rejected delay, saying site work would start next month to implement a voter decision to build a low, steel, arch-borne bridge to end suburban congestion in Dresden.

An ensemble of gardens, palaces, woods and meadows along 20 kilometres of the valley on both sides of Dresden has had heritage status since 2004. Saxony denies the bridge will spoil the view over the meadows, which were submerged by killer floods in 2002.

UNESCO member nations are to discuss the issue at a meeting in Christchurch, New Zealand from June 23 to July 2.

Last year the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization declared the valley "endangered" by the bridge plan. It has never before struck a heritage site off its list.

DPA

Subject: German news

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