Last week the tragic events of the Morandi bridge collapse in Genoa, Italy hit the headlines, with over 40 people losing their life.

An immediate enquiry has been commissioned by the Italian government to understand what was the root cause. All recent inspections showed the bridge structure to be in good health, but there is no doubt more information will be revealed following the investigation.

After something like this can happen, what is the state of bridges in the UK?

Mike Wilson, the authority’s chief highways engineer has released a statement to reassure drivers;

“We have detailed design standards and quality control processes to ensure bridges are designed and constructed to provide safe and comfortable journeys for road users.”

Wilson went on to state the authority has a “thorough and regular regime for inspecting all structures” along the country’s major roads, in order to ensure they are all structurally sound and safe to use.

According to Highways England, general maintenance on motorway and major road bridges is carried out every two years, with a more thorough inspection being conducted every six years.

Wilson also revealed only a handful of the over 21,000 structures under Highways England’s watch are cable-strung suspension bridges. Of that total, none are of a comparable construction to the Morandi Bridge that collapsed in Italy.