German minister declares nation’s bridges safe and reliable
BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s transport minister says the country has reliable procedures for checking bridges “that I trust and citizens can trust too.”
Andreas Scheuer told the weekly Bild am Sonntag that while the recent deadly bridge collapse in the Italian port of Genoa was grounds for reflection “I am not worried when I use a highway in Europe.”
The transport ministry said Monday that federal authorities have earmarked 1.37 billion euros ($1.57 billion) for bridge maintenance this year, rising to 1.63 billion euros in 2022. A further 4.1 billion euros has been set aside to modernize German bridges through 2022.
Federal authorities are responsible for about 40,000 bridges in Germany.
Scheuer said Germany is second only to Switzerland in monitoring its bridges. It has visual checks every six months and bigger tests every three and six years.