Barrande bridge is absolutely essential road infrastructure construction for Prague, it is an inseparable part of expressway, so-called north-south trunk road, connecting highways D1 Prague – Brno a D5 Prague – Plzeň. It is the largest bridge structure in Prague and its technical parameters are respectable. It takes an area of 33 000m2, including bridgeheads. Its width varies and sometimes it reaches 50 m. Total length of the bridge, including section above the abutments, is 350,66 m. Two separate superstructures, with four lanes each, including pedestrian pavement, rest on shared pillars. Access ramps are virtually separate bridge objects.
Leading project designer was ing. Jiří Hejnic, chief engineer was ing. Pavel Tripal, authors of architectural solution were ing. arch. Karek Filsak and ing. academic arch. Karel Filsak jr. Barrande bridge goes over the flow of Vltava aslant in the height of about fifteen metres above its standard level. It has been sensitively put into the countryside, although it is substantially different on both shores. While the front zone of Branice is rather horizontal, on side of Smichov Vltava is immediately touching the shore of Barrande massif. Final form of the bridge is only the thirteenth proposed version.
Bridging work started in May 1978. The first part was put into operation on 20th September 1983, only for vehicle traffic. Ceremonious opening of the whole bridge, for the pedestrians as well, including access ramps, was held on 3rd November 1988. The bridge, which substantially unburdened the city overloaded with traffic, was named after Antonín Zápotocký (1884-1957), previous president of the Czechoslovak Republic. After change of political situation the bridge over Vltava was renamed Barrande bridge. NVP commission approved that on 4th January 1990.
Art shape of the bridge has been completed with monumental concrete sculpture Balance by Josef Klimeš. Its shape has a look of widely open “U” letter. It is 6 m high from the pedestal and 14 m wide.