Government rejects Dresden bridge changes

13th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

13 June 2007, Dresden, Germany (dpa) - State government officials rejected Wednesday a call to alter a bridge-building project in a park-like valley near the German city of Dresden. City authorities, who are at odds with the state of Saxony over the bridge, had voted the previous evening to amend the bridge design to assuage the concerns of UNESCO. Officials of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization have threatened to withdraw the World Heritage status of a 20-kilometre stretch of the val

13 June 2007

Dresden, Germany (dpa) - State government officials rejected Wednesday a call to alter a bridge-building project in a park-like valley near the German city of Dresden.

City authorities, who are at odds with the state of Saxony over the bridge, had voted the previous evening to amend the bridge design to assuage the concerns of UNESCO.

Officials of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization have threatened to withdraw the World Heritage status of a 20-kilometre stretch of the valley landscape through the picturesque city.

But the state of Saxony said it would use its powers in the next few days to award binding contracts to build the bridge without any alterations. It has already moved to appoint contractors for approach roads.

Saxony spokeswoman Evi Oerther said there would be no delays, though it was unlikely that actual site work would begin before the end of July.

A special sitting of the city council voted by a large majority late Tuesday in favour of a new, less chunky design for the Waldschloesschen Bridge, put forward by a firm of Stuttgart architects.

UNESCO in Paris had called for the building plans to be halted and for an alternative to be found, warning that it would withdraw the area's status in a move without precedent in the organization's history.

The area gained World Heritage Site listing in 2004, City conservationists charge that the bridge's arch will spoil views toward the city. UNESCO reacted by listing the landscape as "endangered."

City residents voted in 2005 in favour of the original bridge, set to cost 160 million euros (210 million dollars), to cure suburban traffic delays, but a city council majority has sided with the conservationists.

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

DPA

Subject: German news

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