The Waldschlösschen Bridge is a road bridge across the Elbe river in Dresden. The bridge was intended to remedy inner-city traffic congestion. Its construction was highly controversial, as the Dresden Elbe Valley had been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and UNESCO expressed strong concerns against the bridge, noting its intent to withdraw the World Heritage title if the bridge were built. As a result of this project, the Dresden Elbe Valley was listed in 2006 as an "Endangered World Heritage Site" , and in 2009 became only the second World Heritage Site to be de-listed.
As plans to build a bridge at this location had existed for a century, in 1996, in line with a revised traffic model, the Dresden City Council agreed to the project. After almost eight years of preparation for the process of obtaining planning permission, a public referendum on whether to build the bridge was held in 2005. This resulted in a majority voting for the bridge. In April 2006, the city council stopped the plans following the UNESCO complaint. The Free State of Saxony complained, and in March 2007, at a legal hearing, the Sächsisches Oberverwaltungsgericht ruled in favor of the planned bridge. The ruling was described by Vice President of the German Bundestag Wolfgang Thierse as "a sad day for Germany".
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