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Vai līdz ar sniegu kūst arī asfalts uz Vanšu tilta ietvēm?

Despite cracks, Vanšu bridge repairs will have to wait

Large cracks have formed on the sidewalk of Vanšu Bridge, an important crossing in central Rīga. Despite the unnerving sight for commuters,  Riga City Council says it is safe for daily activities – thought no large-scale events can take place on it. Major repairs are not planned until 2025, reports Latvian Television's 'Studio 4' show.

The sidewalk is like a roller coaster over a long section. Cracks do not inspire confidence in the technical condition of the bridge.

"The cable-stayed bridge is currently in pre-repair condition. It has a network of cracks in the [asphalt] surface. During the winter, when the temperature hovers around zero degrees, the asphalt freezes and refreezes at night, and once it's frozen during the day, everything gets under the asphalt , and when it freezes again at night, it lifts this surface up a little," explained Jānis Vaivods, Acting Director of the Outdoor Space and Mobility Department of Riga City Council.

In other words, the ice and cold – which are inevitable every winter – break up the surface. 

Vaivods said that at the beginning of 2024, he will announce the procurement for the design and construction parts of the repair of Vanšu bridge. 

"Then in the spring, we will assess whether any minor improvements should be made to this pavement surface for the next season," Vaivods added.

"Currently, it is not really necessary to carry out repair work, they [cracks] do not threaten the safety of the bridge in any way. The bridge has recently undergone a regular inspection, which determined that this pavement is adequate for daily loads. Mass events cannot be held on the pavements, but for daily loads it is is appropriate," said Vaivods.

It is planned to remove the top layer of asphalt and pour a new surface. It is not yet known when exactly the repairs could start. Major structural works on the Vanšu bridge are expected no sooner than 2025, but the pavement improvement could take place as early as spring. 

Nevertheless, the bridge lies on the main route from Rīga Airport to the Old Town for many travellers and seems likely to create a less than favorable first impression of the capital for a while to come.

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