Friday 03 April 2020

Amsterdam’s bridges and canal sides need urgent repair work

Repairing canal walls in Amsterdam. Photo: Joost van den Broek

Amsterdam alderman Sharon Dijksma has told the Telegraaf she is ‘shocked’ by the ‘systematic neglect‘ of the inner city’s bridges and canals.

At least 10 kilometres of canal walls are in such bad condition there is a risk they could collapse and six bridges are in such a poor state that urgent action is being taken, the paper said.

On Thursday Dijksma is due to present her plans to monitor and renovate hundreds of kilometres of quayside in an effort to head off any more dangerous situations. Over the past year there have been at several partial collapses.

‘These are plans which are going to take 20 years,’ Dijksma told the paper. ‘There is a lot of catch up maintenance to be done.’ The total bill will run into hundreds of millions of euros.

The job will be particularly tricky because many of the canal walls are built on wooden piles, hammered into the ground. ‘The city was made for horse transport, not the enormous volume of motorised traffic there is today,’ Dijksma said. ‘We have to take steps to guarantee public safety.’

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