Bridges across Europe are in a dangerous state, warn experts

Source(s): Guardian, the (UK)

By Kim Willsher, Lorenzo Tondo, and Jon Henley

Fears have risen about the condition of infrastructure across Europe after the deadly collapse of a stretch of a motorway bridge in Genoa, with experts warning that some road bridges are in a dangerous state.

In France, the transport minister warned that the country’s road network was in a “critical state” after a recent study carried out by the French government found a third of its road bridges required repairs and that 841 posed a potential risk.

[...]

The summary of the general audit on the state of France’s road network was published in July without fanfare, but does not make reassuring reading for motorists.

Its authors reported a “marked deterioration” of roads in general, and bridges and viaducts in particular.

“Of the 12,000 bridges in the network, a third need repairs … often small repairs in order to prevent the appearance of structural deterioration,” it said.

[...]

In Italy, as many as 300 bridges are at risk of failure, including a bridge near Agrigento, Sicily, designed by Ricardo Morandi, the same engineer behind the Genovese bridge. The Sicilian authorities closed the structure because of structural damage in its pillars.

[...]

In Germany a report last year by the Federal Highway Research Institute found that while only 12.4% of the country’s road bridges were in bad condition, just 12.5% were considered good. Many of the bridges were built in the 1960s and 70s and were not designed for the heavy freight traffic of today.

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