Cassandra Crossing to be fixed


After four years of negotiations, Poland and Germany have signed a deal dividing the costs of maintaining the 13 railway bridges connecting the two countries.

The agreement reallocates maintenance responsibilities on all 13 railway bridges across the Oder River and its tributary, the Neisse on the Polish-German border. Currently two bridges are in such a bad state that trains can only cross them slowly.

The new bridge over the Oder between Kunowice and Frankfurt on Oder will be entirely paid for by Germany for a total of 25 million euros ($37.3 million) and is needed to speed up trains using the main line from Moscow to Paris via Warsaw and Berlin. It will be in commission by December 2008!

Poland will replace a bridge to Horka, Germany across the Neisse River. That link on the Wroclaw-Leipzig line is to be restored by 2011. The Polish Ministry of Infrastructure are not saying how much the project will cost Poland.

Rather than splitting maintenance costs for the 13 international bridges, as at present, each bridge would be the responsibility of one country. Until Tuesday, each nation was responsible for the upkeep of one half of every bridge!

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