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66 Spanish road bridges face 'serious safety problems'

Spain bridge

Sixty-six road bridges in Spain have “serious safety problems”, according to a government survey leaked to Spanish newspaper El Pais.

The report reveals that 0.29% of Spain’s 23,000 structures – comprising bridges, viaducts and flyovers – are currently facing issues which compromise their safety.

Concerns about the structural soundness of European structures was increased following the collapse of the Polcevera viaduct in Genoa, Italy, which killed 43 people in August.

In the UK, Highways England announced that it was reviewing its bridge maintenance following the Genoa disaster.

Of the 66 problematic structures in Spain, 17 have already undergone repairs, one is being currently fixed, and another has been torn down, according to the Spanish government.

No money was spent on bridge repairs in Spain between 2009 and 2014. Between 2014 and October of this year, the Spanish government spent around €116M in emergency repair work to infrastructures whose state “represented a serious danger”.

Spanish infrastructure minister Javier Izquierdo said none of the bridges is at risk of collapse, but said new reviewing systems – including the use of drones – are being introduced to improve monitoring procedures. 

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