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An explanation on why bridge rehabilitation and strengthening is necessary

Whether a bridge is old and deteriorating or there’s an issue with the original design – sometimes a structure requires bridge rehabilitation and strengthening, with or without repair. In this blog, we detail the importance of bridge rehabilitation and what happens when a failing bridge is not attended to. No matter how strong a structure is – without checks and maintenance, nothing is built to last forever! 

Bridge rehabilitation meaning

By definition, bridge rehabilitation means `the partial reconstruction of an existing bridge to meet current design criteria and construction standards or a project that fixes the deterioration of a structure or improves the geometrics or load-carrying capacity`. Bridge rehabilitation is a type of infrastructure maintenance 

Why is bridge rehabilitation and strengthening important?

First and foremost, if a deteriorating bridge is not rehabilitated and strengthened, it will pose a major safety risk. This is especially true if the bridge remains in use by construction workers and their vehicles carrying heavy-weight materials. Secondly, a core purpose of bridge rehabilitation is to bring back the full use of a bridge – this is to say if a bridge has started to degrade – it will not function as it should (unable to carry loads at full capacity, less traffic will be able to pass, the bridge will close for frequent repairs, etc.).  

What happens if a bridge is not rehabilitated?

  • The bridge will pose a large safety risk; 
  • The efficiency rating could be affected;  
  • Costly repairs will be brought upon;  
  • It may often close and cause detours or interruptions to workers, traffic, tourists, etc. (depending on its use); 
  • The historical value will be at stake;  
  • Structural integrity could be somewhat lost;  
  • The aesthetical value will not be retained; 
  • In dyer cases, the bridge could partially collapse, or collapse completely. 

If the bridge is not going to be rehabilitated due to cost, or if it cannot be rehabilitated for some reason (for example, if historical connections do not allow), then the bridge may only be open seasonally, as a scenic landmark, or for foot traffic only – for example: Bridge Rehabilitation: When and Why? (

Book your FREE feasibility survey for bridge rehabilitation and strengthening

If you would like further information about bridge rehabilitation, strengthening, and repair – simply call our expert team on 01482 425250 or fill in our online form to request a call-back today. We look forward to hearing from you!  

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