CAIRO: The General Authority for Roads and Bridges will apply periodic maintenance to 400 main bridges during this year, as concerns grew regarding truck drivers’ dangerous violations, according to an interview with The Cairo Post Thursday.
The Spokesperson for the authority Abdel Aziz Abdu told The Cairo Post that the authority is only responsible for supervising “1704 main bridges across Egypt, apart from the bridges inside cities and districts, which belong to governorates and local directorates.”
Although most of the recently reported bridge collapses do not fall under the supervision of the authority, Abdu denied claims of construction defects, as he believes that improper usage remains “the main reason.”
“There are continued violations committed by overly loaded vans and trucks exceeding the decided capacity which is only 13 tons for each axe,” continued Abdu.
He further mentioned the land fall of Berket el-Saba’ bridge in March 2013, which was one of the bridges supervised by the authority, as one of the accidents caused due to “continued violations by truck drivers during the past security turmoil.”
Also, Abdu said that the lack of periodic maintenance in all cities’ bridges is one of the main problems. He explained “periodic maintenance applied to some old inter-city bridges like Kasr el-Nil Bridge is the reason these bridges still live until now.”
The authority has maintained adoption of international standards in building all main bridges, Abdu said. “That’s why the authority is trying to merge other cities’ bridges under its supervision, in order to be responsible for applying the same standards to all bridges across Egypt,” he added.
Despite warning of a possible big disaster due to continued driver violations, Abdu said “We do not want people to panic, as the problem can still be fixed, but the continued violations committed by vans and trucks causing unequal load distribution may worsen the problem.”
In his Thursday statements to Al-Hayah Al-Youm, the head of the General authority Saad el-Geoushy said, “I get scared whenever I’m passing under a bridge in Egypt.”
In Feb. 2013, a partial collapse of an overpass in Obour City, north east Cairo left 4 dead and 12 injured.