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The closure of a portion of the A13 raises the question of the state of the roads in France

The closure of a portion of the A13 raises the question of the state of the roads in France

The portion of the A13 which connects the A86 to Vaucresson (Hauts-de-Seine), and the Porte de Saint-Cloud to the west of Paris, was closed on Friday April 19, shortly after midnight, and the rest until further notice. This decision was taken after the discovery of a crack across the roadway, 50 centimeters to 80 centimeters deep, depending on the location, not far from the Saint-Cloud tunnel and viaduct.

A first crack had been detected during the week, without causing any further concern. But the Ile-de-France roads department, Dirif, took advantage of a scheduled night of maintenance work to carry out a more in-depth inspection. Cracks were then noted in a pipe which passes four meters under the roadway. Traffic was not restored in the early morning.

Since then, the investigation has continued. Is the construction site of the Musée du Grand Siècle, located nearby, to blame? Have heavy rains in recent weeks made the situation worse? The only certainty: “This situation is the result of a movement on the ground,” indicated the Hauts-de-Seine prefecture in a press release; and the pipe is no longer watertight.

Take the A12 and the national roads 12 and 118

The roadway and retaining wall will be monitored throughout the weekend. A decision must then be made on Monday April 22. If the crack has not worsened, the highway could be open to some vehicles, in any case not before the middle of the week. In the meantime, Ile-de-France residents are invited to take the A12, and the national 12 and 118 for their return from vacation.

Inevitably, even if this crack was detected precisely during a maintenance operation and neighboring works are suspected, the question of the state of the road network in France and its maintenance arises. It had already been lifted after the accident on the Genoa bridge in August 2018. During torrential rains which fell on northern Italy, the Morandi bridge, the most frequent in the Ligurian city, had suddenly collapsed. collapsed. Forty-three people died.

Read also | Pont de Genoa: the prosecution requests a trial for 59 people

One after the disaster, the French Road Union, an association defending the interests of road mobility, brandished the report from the World Economic Forum. In 2019, in the international ranking of the quality of road infrastructure, France, first in 2012, had fallen to eighteenth place.

One of the longest networks in Europe

The Court of Auditors took up the subject in 2022. Its report was harsh to say the least. With 1.1 million kilometers of roads, the French network is one of the longest and densest in Europe. It is also one of the transport hubs of the Old Continent.

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Mattie B. Jiménez

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