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Twelve Brussels bridges are ‘potentially dangerous’
What with recent events in Genoa, questions are being raised as to the safety of Brussels viaducts. The collapse of a section of the viaduct on the A10 motorway in Genoa reminded many Brussels residents of the controversy surrounding the poor state of Brussels tunnels, some of which are in the midst of repair.
Quite conveniently for current events, Brussels 92 bridges, including viaducts, were categorised last year, following the situation that saw concrete fall from the ceilings of some tunnels. According to information released by Brussels Mobility, there is good news and bad for the capital’s bridges.
The categories span from A (dangerous, action needed) to F (perfectly safe, no action needed). Brussels has two A category bridges: the Petite île bridge in Anderlecht –closed to traffic for the last two years – and the Avenue Jules van Praet bridge, which crosses the canal in Laken near Docks shopping centre (pictured).
The latter is not closed. It is believed that the load-bearing structure was compromised when nearby tram stops were put in. A study is underway, after which works will be carried out to reinforce the support structure.
Ten bridges in category B
A full 10 bridges are in category B, potentially dangerous. All the bridges in this category, while certainly not in danger of collapsing, are being regularly inspected. One of these is the Avenue Herrmann-Debroux viaduct in Auderghem, which already underwent a repair project last year when cracks were found in the concrete on the underside. Brussels Mobility is keeping an eye on it, and discussions to dismantle it are still ongoing.
All the other bridges in this category are undergoing studies or scheduled for repair works. Those that have had repair works done recently, such as the viaduct over Rue Gray in Ixelles, are under constant surveillance. The same can be said, in general, for category C bridges, which count 34.
That leaves 42 bridges – of which two are in the top category. They are both railroad viaducts maintained by Infrabel.
Photo courtesy Google