On the occasion of the conference on bridges maintenance held on 3rd June, FIEC reiterates its concerns regarding the threats of ageing infrastructure and in particular bridges.
The overall lack of proper level of investment in maintenance of infrastructure has led to the deterioration of transport infrastructure as demonstrated by the collapse or frequent closure of bridges.
It is crucial to guarantee the funding of infrastructure maintenance by earmarking specific tax revenues, mobilising grants, implementing road pricing schemes or exploring public-private partnerships (PPP), and to adapt project contracting to include maintenance activities.
The continuous maintenance of existing infrastructure is necessary to ensure an adequate quality level of the TEN-T network and can substantially contribute to a more circular economy by prolonging the lifetime of infrastructure, thereby reducing raw material consumption and generation of waste, as well as contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions.
FIEC calls on the European institutions to develop a common European approach for inspections and quality ratings of TEN-T infrastructure, on the basis of precise knowledge of the existing assets.
The addition of a new article (article 48 « Maintenance and project life cycle ») in the proposed revision of the TEN-T Regulation is a significant step forward in this direction, but it should contain concrete obligations for Member States to invest in the maintenance of existing parts of the network.
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