Nearly 40% of bridges in Bristol are deemed sub-standard and at risk of collapse.
The recent RAC Foundation survey, carried out with the help of ADEPT National Bridges Group, found that 3,203 structures over 1.5m in span are now at risk when carrying heavy goods vehicles (HGV’s).
Bristol is famously known for the Clifton suspension bridge, built by Isaambard Kingdom Brunel and is also home to 139 others, 52 of which have been claimed as unfit for use due to their out dated designs.
The report adds that the one-off cost of bringing all the substandard bridges back up to perfect condition would be around £890 million. This is the equivalent of £278,000 per structure.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “In the face of growing traffic volumes and ageing infrastructure the danger is that without an adequate long-term funding settlement we will see more rather than fewer bridges with weight restrictions, with the backlog bill getting bigger all the time.”
When a bridge is sub-standard councils have four basic options. They can:
1) Continue to monitor the structure
2) Manage the deterioration
3) Impose weight or traffic restrictions
4) Repair it
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