Bonn The corona virus is also affecting construction work on the Viktoria Bridge. The bridge will now have to be closed before the summer holidays, the city announced at a press conference. There was also an update about the current coronavirus situation in Bonn and the closure of the Altstadt (Old Town).
The corona virus has brought construction work on the Viktoria Bridge to a standstill. "Both necessary material and personnel are not getting into Bonn because of travel restrictions", said Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan at a press conference on Thursday. In order to avoid a two-year delay, the bridge will have to be closed for two weeks between the end of June/beginning of July. "This option is the lesser of two evils," Sridharan said.
If the regular schedule had been followed, which called for a finish by early 2022, the Victoria Bridge would not have been completed until two years later. "This has to do with the railway line beneath it." The work has to be coordinated with the tram timetable so that the line is not so heavily used during this time. There will be only certain windows of time available for the work to take place. Peter Esch, head of the civil engineering office, hopes that everything will run smoothly in the two weeks and that there will be no more shortages (of workers or materials). "If not, we have a problem," says Esch.
The main detour route is the autobahn, but during the summer school holidays, that will not be available due to construction work. He is confident, however, that the required labor force, especially from Poland, will be able to re-enter the country. The extended work period will increase the costs by a low six-figure sum, the total costs was last estimated at around 45 million euros.
Slight decrease in the number of registered corona cases
The city registered 334 acute cases of coronavirus at noon on Thursday, three fewer than the previous evening. Since February 29, when the pandemic was first detected in Bonn, the total number of cases has risen to 447. 111 people have recovered, two elderly patients have died. The spread of the virus in Bonn is doubling every 13 days. Sridharan urged not to draw any hasty conclusions from the slight decline: "In the best case, this indicates that the measures are showing tentative success. However, it also means that it is imperative that we continue on the path of the ban on contact with all its inevitable limitations.”
In Bonn hospitals there are 69 patients from Germany and abroad, 24 on normal wards, 26 on intensive care units, 19 are ventilated. In two of the affected nursing homes, one further confirmed case in each of them has been reported. "We are well equipped in the hospitals, the capacities are sufficient", says Sridharan. The diagnostic center will also be on stand-by over Easter, but the majority of the necessary swabs will be made available for mobile testing.
Closing the Old Town: citizens show understanding
After the first day of the closure of the Old Town, the city public order bureau takes a positive view. Most citizens showed understanding, no warnings were necessary and no charges were filed. "With few exceptions, people have a polite and respectful approach," said Sridharan. He regretted that the city "had no choice but to block off the Old Town because not everyone follows the rules". At each of the eight entrances to the Old Town, up to four employees control access.
The city will postpone activating the water fountains so that no further attractions are created. Usually they start bubbling up again around Easter. There are a few exceptions, however, including the fountain in the Bad Godesberg city park, the fountain for the blind in the Japanese Garden and the one in the Rheinaue Lake, which has to be put into operation to aerate stagnant waters.
With a glance at Bonn's retail trade and crisis-ridden businesses such as Karstadt and Kaufhof, Sridharan said that companies needed to be supported. He believes that a gradual relaxation of the corona measures is conceivable, which could, for example, be based on the number of square meters, as is currently the case in supermarkets. "But health must be in the foreground", said the Lord Mayor. Such decisions should not be made prematurely.
Orig. text: General Anzeiger