Council applies for funding to test 47 Milton Keynes bridges over possible ‘invisible defects’

A Milton Keynes bridge
A Milton Keynes bridge

A council has applied for Government money to test 47 bridges in Milton Keynes over possible hidden defects.

Milton Keynes Council says its work is ‘”good practice and is not based on any fears about particular bridges,” but the issue has been flagged up as one to watch by one of its committees.

The council has a £3.25 million budget for ‘bridges and highway structures’. And background papers for the November meeting of the scrutiny management committee last week revealed that MK Council is “currently awaiting results of investigations of a small number” them.

Council officers wrote: “MK has a large number of post tensioned structures which are a high risk due to invisible defects and risk of sudden failures.” Post tensioning uses steel to make concrete structures stronger.

They added that it is “likely” that money will be needed in the future to carry out investigations or remedial work. To cover that, they are waiting for Government cash, and the highways department of the council is working on an estimate for future work.

A council spokesman added that: “We carry out visual bridge inspections every two years, and as part of this we have applied for funding for intrusive testing of 47 post tension bridges.

“This is good practice and is not based on any fears about particular bridges.”

There are 1,000 bridges across the borough of Milton Keynes, of which 47 are post tensioned, the spokesman said.

The council has recently completed bridge projects including waterproofing the A422 Swans River Bridge, refurbishing the Knebworth Gate footbridge, and repairing a joint failure at Fyfield Barrow bridge over the V11.