Highways England issues statement in response to Genoa bridge collapse

Highways England has issued a statement following the collapse of the Morandi Bridge near Genoa in Italy which has killed at least 37 people with many more seriously injured. The statement was issued today to reassure road users in England over any safety concerns they might have following the collapse of an ageing structure.

Commenting on the disaster, Highways England chief highways engineer Mike Wilson said: “Our deepest sympathies are with everyone involved in the tragic bridge collapse in Genoa, Italy. We can reassure drivers that safety is and always will be our top priority. 

“We have detailed design standards and quality control processes to ensure bridges are designed and constructed to provide safe and comfortable journeys for road users. This is supported by a thorough and regular regime for inspecting all structures, including bridges, on England’s motorways and major “A” roads and taking any necessary action to help ensure they stay safe.”

Referring to the type of bridge involved in the Genoa collapse, Wilson said: “A very small proportion of our structures are suspension or cable stayed bridges but none of them are of similar construction to the one in Genoa. We’re committed to continually improving our network to make every journey the safest it can be. So, when the causes of the Genoa bridge collapse have been investigated and reported, we will carefully assess any lessons to be learnt and will bring in any required changes to standards and processes.”

Highways England has more than 21,000 structures on England’s network of motorways and major “A” roads, none of which are of similar design to the one in Italy. The organisation has a rigorous inspection regime in place for all its structures, which takes into account design, age and the likely maintenance needs. General inspections are undertaken every two years with more detailed principal inspections typically every six years which involve close inspection of all parts of a structure.

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