In Kent, there are more than 4,000 bridges and structures. We own and maintain about 2,800 of these. The rest are the responsibility of others, for example Network Rail or the Highways Agency.
Bridge owners have overall responsibility for their structures, including carrying out day to day inspections and organising any maintenance.
There are 3 main types of maintenance we carry out:
- operational maintenance - essential for the safe use and operation of a structure
- routine maintenance - to combat normal wear and tear and protect the structure over time
- structural maintenance and upgrading - needed as a result of external factors, such as exposure to extreme conditions, old age, change in use or change in structural standard.
We also advise other bridge owners of any structural or safety issues which might need their attention and make sure they carry out the necessary works.
There is a rich heritage of old bridges in Kent.
These bridges are assessed, maintained and repaired generally to the same standards as all of our other bridges and structures.
Any work to historic bridges must meet the strict requirements of English Heritage or the district council. Their special status means that any work carried out must be done without significantly changing their appearance.