Norway’s many deficient bridges

Norway’s many deficient bridges need repairs.
Maintenance / April 25, 2022 35 seconds Read
By MJ Woof
Many of Norway’s bridges need repairs to ensure safety for users – image courtesy of image courtesy of © Norman Chan,
Norway has a serious problem with regard to bridge condition. An official report has been compiled by the Norwegian Road Directorate (Vegdirektoratet) that highlights the scope of the problem.

According to the report, there are 342 bridges on national roads and county roads that have suffered serious damage presenting a potential threat to the safety of users. Meanwhile, a total of 5,300 bridges feature issues that are sufficient to present concern for the safety of users. Excessive corrosion and damaged guard rail have been identified as key issues needing attention.

The Vegdirektoratet report suggests that the problems are the result of wear and tear rather than a lack of maintenance. Nevertheless, work is needed to bring the bridges back into optimum condition.
A report by Statistics Norway (SSB) reveals that the gross investment on Norway’s municipal roads and streets dropped more than 10% between 2020 and 2021. The northern counties of Troms and Finnmark and Nordland had the largest budgets for road improvements in 2021. According to the Norwegian Automobile Federation (Norges Automobil-Forbund, NAF), Norway’s county roads face a particular problem with a backlog of works needing to be carried out.

More money needs to be spent on maintenance and upgrade works, as well as to add more protection to prevent damage and blockages from landslides and avalanches according to NAF.