According to a report to the government in July, the overall state of the road network is very disturbing. More seriously, 7% of the 12,000 bridges are threatening to collapse.
After the catastrophe of Genoa , this figure is cold in the back. In France, out of the 12,000 bridges in the country , 840 (or 7%) are threatening to collapse in the coming years.
This is the alarming conclusion of an external audit report of the national road network not conceded , commissioned by the Ministry in charge of Transport and carried out by Nibuxs and IMDM. It was presented mid-July.
30% of the bridges require repairs
This study examines the state of 12,000 km of roads belonging to France. Beyond the state of the network, globally aging and degraded, as the report points out, the bridges pose a serious threat, while 39 people, including three children and four French , lost their lives in the collapse of the bridge. Morandi in Genoa, Tuesday, August 14, 2018.
Of the 12,000 that account the network, a third of them require repairs . “Most often, it is small repairs to prevent the occurrence of structural damage. But in 7% of the cases, the damage is more serious, presenting in the long term a risk of collapse. “
These bridges could even be closed preventively to the circulation of trucks or all vehicles to avoid a tragedy. As the study recalls:
On average, a bridge is repaired only 22 years after the appearance of the first degradations.
Insufficient network maintenance
How to explain such a deterioration of the road network? The cold and heavy rainfall are obviously factors that accelerate the aging of roads and structures, since they promote the infiltration of water. The increase in road traffic also has a weakening role.
But for the authors of the report, the interview, often delayed and / or underestimated, accelerates this phenomenon. The roads have insufficient means, especially compared to our European neighbors, especially from the north. However, the survey ensures that we are spending more than our neighbors to the south, such as Italy, which is facing much worse deterioration than in France.
“Over the last ten years, the French State has spent an average of € 666 million a year on the maintenance and management costs of the national road network that has not been granted. “Per kilometer, we spend an average of 50,000 euros a year in maintenance, against 80,000 in the United Kingdom. Yet, says the report:
“It is much more economical to carry out regular maintenance than to wait for the appearance of disorder to intervene.”
By 2037, 720 bridges will be out of order
In twenty years, if France maintains the same policy, 62% of roads will be degraded (against 29% in 2017) and 6% of bridges (720) will be out of order. Not to mention the likely risks related to user safety.
In conclusion, the auditors urge the French State to invest heavily to avoid a general degradation of the network and above all, to avoid tragedies like that of Genoa.
Minister of Transport Élisabeth Borne stressed Wednesday the “importance” of regular maintenance of French roads, bridges and tunnels. She recalled that she planchait for the return on a bill of infrastructure programming.