New Zealand should be more transparent on the state of bridge infrastructure for better safety assessment following the bridge accident in Genoa, Italy.
While some experts said that the country’s bridge remains safe, there are certain measures that need to be in place, such as regular abrasive blast cleaning for steel infrastructures. The Transport Agency should also update records on the current condition of bridge structures.
New Zealand plans to spend an additional $10 billion for new infrastructure and repairs, including schools and hospitals. Infrastructure New Zealand CEO Stephen Selwood believes that this calls for greater transparency on regular updates, just so that the public has more confidence in the country’s overall infrastructure network.
By contrast, there are those who think that the chances of having a Genoa accident in New Zealand are slim. Canterbury University professor Alessandro Palermo is among them, and he said that the NZTA conduct general inspections every two years. More thorough inspections are done every six years depending on the state of a certain bridge.
Newer infrastructures have been built to last a century, according to Palermo. It doesn’t necessarily mean that a bridge past its lifespan would eventually crumble, although the lack of proper maintenance and rust control would hasten its deterioration.
Regular maintenance remains necessary to ensure that there won’t be an incident similar to what took place in Italy. Aside from better transparency, proper action after discovering signs of corrosion on bridges should be a priority.