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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

NIK audit on the safety of road bridges, tunnels and culverts

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The Supreme Audit Office has inspected bridges and culverts on Polish roads. It turns out that road administrators have committed a lot of negligence. To the extent that many of them have degraded, they pose a threat to the health or life of users, and in some cases they are threatened with a construction disaster.

Supreme Chamber of Control checked the condition of 139 bridges and culverts in Poland managed by 16 road managers. This is, of course, a drop in the bucket, because as the Chamber itself notes, at the end of 2021, there were 38.6 thousand on public roads. bridge structures and 779 tunnels and underground passages. Above one third of the examined objects posed a threat to the health or life of users, and 4% were dangerous. buildings were threatened with a construction disaster.

It turned out that in the period from 2020 to June 30, 2022, as many as 12 out of 16 managers did not carry out mandatory technical inspections of parts of the engineering facilities they managed. Often, when they were already carried out, because the inspections were unreliable or poorly documented. What’s more, “cases of performing periodic inspections by persons not authorized to carry them out” were also found.

Engineering structures inspected by the Supreme Chamber of ControlNIK

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NIK also stated that managers of local government roads too often did not take into account the results of inspections to use them to create plans for “maintenance of bridges, viaducts, flyovers or footbridges. This in turn had an impact on the safety of road engineering facilities using them”.

The biggest problem on county roads

NIK found that the largest number of buildings that posed a threat to public traffic safety were located on poviat roads.

How much? Well, “bridges and culverts on municipal roads, managed by vogts and mayors, mostly remained in ‘pre-failure’ and ‘insufficient’ technical condition‘, i.e. had damage that reduced their usefulness, but possible to repair, or irreparable damage was found disqualifying their usefulness.

No work for eight years

As a “special case” NIK indicated the progressing degradation of the road bridge in the village of Prąd Stara. District road administration in Łuków for eight years he did not do any work. The Chamber notes that the construction expertise of 2014 concluded that the building needed urgent renovation. This was also confirmed by annual inspections, in which information appeared that the damage reduced the “safety of vehicular and rail traffic, indicating an urgent need to rebuild the facility”.

NIK audit. The case of the bridge in Pravda StaraSupreme Chamber of Control

The Chamber notes that the inspection carried out during the inspection with the participation of a specialist showed that the manager did not carry out any work on the facility. What’s more, the viaduct “had damage threatening the safety of public traffic, i.e. the possibility of concrete falling off the load-bearing elements, cornices or main girders located directly above the railway tracks”.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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