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Bridges are a Critical Point for Maintaining a Safe and Accessible Transport Infrastructure

Bratislava, January 21, 2022 - During the sixteen years of the partition of bridges management on Slovak roads between the state and local governments, there was a long-term deterioration of their construction and technical condition. The most vulnerable part of the transport infrastructure, bridges, really endangers the basic needs of the population. After evaluating its audits, the Supreme Audit Office states that the number of bridges in the best condition on roads I., II. and III. class decreased by half. On the contrary, the number of bridges in the worst condition increased two and a half times, up to 1,717 in 2020. Slovakia has not invested in the modernization of bridges for a long time and the maintenance and repair system is ineffective. Diagnosis and inspections of bridges were neglected. Resources for bridge management have been insufficient in the long term. The adoption of a sustainable financing system for the renewal and modernization of bridges, using all sources of financing, is a crucial step in managing the situation. The SAO recommended to the parliament that the transportation ministry should submit a proposal for a comprehensive strategy in this area.

 

"The old age of bridges and the growing intensity of cargo transport, in particular, require funding not only for their repairs and maintenance but also for gradual reconstruction and renewal, as the estimated lifespan of a bridge is 100 years if properly maintained. Administrators make only the necessary repairs to bridges and preventive repairs of bridges in better condition are exceptional. As we have not yet invested in bridges, the remedy will require much more," said SAO President Karol Mitrík.

Bratislava, January 21, 2022 - During the sixteen years of the partition of bridges management on Slovak roads between the state and local governments, there was a long-term deterioration of their construction and technical condition. The most vulnerable part of the transport infrastructure, bridges, really endangers the basic needs of the population. After evaluating its audits, the Supreme Audit Office states that the number of bridges in the best condition on roads I., II. and III. class decreased by half. On the contrary, the number of bridges in the worst condition increased two and a half times, up to 1,717 in 2020. Slovakia has not invested in the modernization of bridges for a long time and the maintenance and repair system is ineffective. Diagnosis and inspections of bridges were neglected. Resources for bridge management have been insufficient in the long term. The adoption of a sustainable financing system for the renewal and modernization of bridges, using all sources of financing, is a crucial step in managing the situation. The SAO recommended to the parliament that the transportation ministry should submit a proposal for a comprehensive strategy in this area.

 

"The old age of bridges and the growing intensity of cargo transport, in particular, require funding not only for their repairs and maintenance but also for gradual reconstruction and renewal, as the estimated lifespan of a bridge is 100 years if properly maintained. Administrators make only the necessary repairs to bridges and preventive repairs of bridges in better condition are exceptional. As we have not yet invested in bridges, the remedy will require much more," said SAO President Karol Mitrík.

 

The full text of the press release about this issue in Slovak language is available here. Use the Google icon in the top bar for automatic translation.