German industry stresses need for faster modernization of bridges

Following the collapse of a motorway bridge in the Italian city of Genoa that caused some 40 deaths, the Federation of German Industries (BDI) has stressed the need for Germany to speed up the rate at which it is modernizing its older bridges.

“Thanks to booming tax receipts [in Germany], renewing motorway bridges is not a question of money, it has become a question of time,” the BDI said on Thursday.

Predictions for the lifespan of bridges built in the 1960s have had to be revised downwards given the huge increase in the amount of traffic using them.

This is especially the case for the high number of reinforced concrete bridges.

For example, on the 120 kilometres of the A45 motorway that pass through the western state of North Rhine Westphalia, there are 32 bridges that must be brought up to date in the coming 15 to 20 years.

The procedure for approving the works must be speeded up, especially where a bridge must be completely replaced, the BDI demanded on Thursday.

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