OCT 00] COVENTRY CITY COUNCIL NEWS
Crumbling Bridge Over City Water Needs Repair
40 bridges in Coventry are still short of a European standard that
was brought in to force two years ago, and millions of pounds must
be spent on solving the problem.
strict new rules insisted that all roads must be capable of taking
40-tonne vehicles from the start of 1999.
a major programme of strengthening work, with more than £5
million already having been spent since 1993, 39 bridges don’t
meet the mark.
the Courtaulds Bridge in Foleshill Road, is a major cause for
concern, but engineers don’t know who owns it.
in charge of carrying out the checks say there programme of
improving the bridges has been held up by insufficient funding
coming from the government.
future resources for the scheme are not guaranteed beyond March
routes are to be prioritised for completion by this date, with
local roads being inspected regularly for safety.
parts of bridges that are not on the carriageway, such as
footpaths and parapets, have not yet been fully evaluated.
Reeves of the Babtie Group, which is carrying out the research,
said this is because of changing government parameters ob what
should be analysed.
said in a report to Cllr John McNicholas cabinet member
option of placing weight restrictions on bridges has not been
considered at this stage because experience has shown that
weight restrictions are difficult to enforce and thus should be
a last resort.”
added that the law also places a requirement on local authorities
to provide a “free passageway” for all vehicles, and it is the
council’s duty to make an effort to solve the problem.
Reeves added that while they were waiting for the work to be done,
all the bridges would be regularly monitored to make sure they
were not becoming unsafe.
other 38 bridges are being monitored in accordance with the
Government’s guidelines to ensure that the structures remain
safe in the short term until longer term solutions are
the unlikely event of serious structural problems occurring with
a bridge, or any other highway structure, there are in place
well rehearsed procedures to implement short-term safety
arrangements involving the police, the structural engineers and
stand-by contractors, to divert traffic if necessary and carry
out emergency works.”