France: 840 bridges at risk of collapsing

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About 840 bridges across France are at risk of collapsing, an audit commissioned by the government has warned.

The audit found a third of the country’s 12,000 state-maintained bridges need repairs.

It said 7% – or about 840 – bridges are so badly damaged they are at “risk of collapse” in coming years and may be closed down.

The names of bridges were not mentioned in the report.

Lack of funding was to blame, but also “insufficient technical staff” to maintain them, said the report, which was submitted to the minister of transport last month and has been published by newspaper Journal du Dimanche.

The audit did not look at thousands of French bridges maintained by private companies or local authorities.

Mr Macron's speech was punctuated by repeated standing ovations and loud applause
Image: Emmanuel Macron is under pressure to increase infrastructure spending

President Emmanuel Macron’s government has already promised new infrastructure spending, but is coming under further pressure following Tuesday’s bridge collapse in Genoa in neighbouring Italy.

At least 43 people were killed after a large section of the Morandi Bridge suddenly fell down.

Autostrade per L’Italia, which runs the bridge and nearly half of Italy’s motorway network, has come under heavy criticism as locals claimed they told the company the bridge was not safe.

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Video: Genoa bridge being built in 1963-67

The company has promised to rebuild the bridge within eight months, setting aside €500m (£448m) for the relief effort. It also promised to cooperate with the investigation.

Many of the victims’ families have blamed the Italian government, especially the former ruling party which was replaced by a populist coalition in June.

More from Genoa bridge collapse

Two former Italian ministers at a state funeral held for 19 of the victims on Saturday were jeered as mourners shouted “clown” and “shame on you”.

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Video: Special report: Disaster on the Morandi Bridge

French transport minister Elisabeth Borne said last week that bridge “maintenance is our priority”.

From – SkyNews

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