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Genoa bridge collapse 1% of Swiss bridges in critical condition

Genoa bridge rubble

The partial collapse of the Morandi bridge in Genoa, Italy on August 14, left 43 dead. 

(Keystone)

The Federal Roads Office (FEDRO) estimates that around 40 Swiss bridges in Switzerland are in a critical condition. 

On Sunday, FEDRO confirmed information obtained by the SonntagBlick paper from a report on the state of roads by the agency. Jürg Röthlisberger, director of FEDRO, said that the state of the Swiss road network is generally good. Renovation of critical infrastructure such as bridges and tunnels has been well managed in recent years. 

"If a structure proves to be in poor condition, for example if the support elements of a bridge are damaged, we would immediately close the bridge and start work," he said. 

However, 16% of the structures have not yet been checked. But according to FEDRO, they do not play an essential role in terms of security. So even if a problem were identified, it would not have serious consequences. 

The vast majority of Swiss motorway bridges were built in the 1960s and 1970s. Renovations will thus become more and more frequent. However, according to Röthlisberger, Switzerland is in a good position thanks to the means at its disposal with the fund for road infrastructure. 

According to information published in the NZZ am Sonntag paper on Sunday, more than half of Switzerland’s 45,000 highway bridges are over 35 years old. An expert quoted in the article mentions that maintenance costs could double or even quadruple in the next 30 years.


SDA-ATS/ac

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