Highways England insists ‘our road bridges are safe’ after tragedy struck in Italy this week
The chief engineer of Highways England insists that all road bridges in England are safe, after tragedy struck in Italy this week which saw the collapse of a bridge in Genoa, killing at least 39 people.
Mike Wilson revealed that just “a very small proportion of our structures are suspension or cable stayed bridges… [and] none of them are of similar construction to the one in Genoa”.
The statement was aimed at motorists in the UK who might be worrying about the condition of some of our bridges following the tragic events this week in Italy and hopes it will reassure people, adding that “safety is and always will be our top priority”.
Mr Wilson said that Highways England runs a “thorough and regular regime for inspecting all structures, including bridges, on England’s motorways and major A roads, and taking any necessary action to help ensure they stay safe”.
A department within the UK Government has also pledged to “assess any lessons to be learnt and… [bringing] any required changes to standards and processes” once it’s been determined what caused the tragedy in Genoa following an investigation and the results being reported.
The motorway network in England, as well as major ‘A’ roads feature over 21,000 structures, all of which are inspected “rigorously” depending on their age, design and maintenance requirements.
Every two years general inspections are carried out, with more detailed principal inspections normally occurring every six years, when a close inspection is carried out of every detail within the structure.
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