Some Amsterdam bridges, quays on the verge of collapse

Bikes pared on an Amsterdam bridge
Bikes pared on an Amsterdam bridgePhoto: olgacov/DepositPhotos

The initial results of the municipality of Amsterdam's inspections of the state of its bridges and quays have raised major concerns. Some bridges are on the verge of collapse, and inspection of the first 80 high-risk quays showed that they all need renovation, responsible alderman Sharon Dijksma said, Het Parool reports.

The city started inspecting its 829 bridges last year. So far, 21 have been fully studied. At ten of them, immediate short-term measures had to be taken. Many of these are bridges on wooden piles, Dijksma said. "Everything on wood is in very bad shape. We already knew there was serious neglect, but the latest research results are disappointing." 43 bridges' foundations have been examined so far. Sixteen of them need work. 

According to Dijksma, the number of bridges in need of urgent work is higher than expected. "We have to be sharp. The eventual collapse of a bridge is approaching, we can detect it early with monitoring and periodic inspection. This is therefore emphatically a measure for keeping an eye on the situation."

The state of the quays may be even worse. The first 80 high-risk quays investigated all need to be renovated. Measures are already being taken there, Dijksma said. Some 190 kilometers of quay wall still needs to be inspected. 

"If we want to solve all the problems within 20 years, we will have to work eight times harder than we did before," Dijksma said. This operation will not only be extremely expensive, but can also paralyze the city. "If we were to work everywhere at the same time, if that were possible, the city would come to a complete halt. We will have to come up with smart solutions for that."