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Paris 2024 Olympic Games: race against time to repair a bridge in time for the opening ceremony

A race against time has begun in Paris to repair a bridge, damaged by a boat, before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on the Seine on July 26, even if the town hall wants to be reassuring about the deadlines.

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Paris 2024 Olympic Games: race against time to repair a bridge in time for the opening ceremony

A race against time has begun in Paris to repair a bridge, damaged by a boat, before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on the Seine on July 26, even if the town hall wants to be reassuring about the deadlines.

On January 31, the riverboat “Le Diamant bleu” collided with the Sully bridge, a 19th century metal arch bridge located to the east of Saint-Louis Island, in the heart of the capital, at the level of its southern arm, on the left bank side, explained the regional prefecture a few days later.

The central pass of the bridge was damaged, with two pieces of arches torn off. As a result, automobile traffic on this axis was cut off.

As for river traffic under the bridge, already regulated in normal times depending on the direction and size of the boats, it has been reorganized and is subject to strict surveillance.

Towards the downstream, boats over 100 meters can only pass under the rugged pass “only in dedicated slots” of one hour per day, “after observation of the bridge”, Pierre Rabadan told AFP on Tuesday, the deputy in charge of sport, the Olympic Games and the Seine.

The authorities are also studying the passage of boats over 60 m on the other arm, less wide, on the right bank side, normally prohibited, he specifies.

The repairs have not yet started pending "additional studies", indicates Anne Hidalgo's deputy, according to which the regional prefecture and town hall are working on a timetable which will make it possible to "return to a normal situation in the best delays” while “impacting river traffic as little as possible”.

The consolidation of the bridge, which requires “removing the damaged part”, should take between one and two months, estimates Mr. Rabadan, certain “that the bridge will be secure during the Games”.

According to Anne Hidalgo's deputy, "there is no risk that we will not be able to consolidate the bridge before the opening ceremony", a river parade of around a hundred boats which will transport the delegations of athletes over six kilometers from the Austerlitz bridge to the Iéna bridge.

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