Mr. Roy Hughes asked the Minister of Transport if any recent investigation has been made by his Department into the structural durability of the Severn bridge; for how many years it is likely to remain in full operational use; and if he will make a statement regarding its immediate and long-term future.
Consulting engineers were appointed in 1974 to assess the box girder deck and towers against the Merrison, interim design and workmanship rules. Their brief has since been extended to assess the main cables, hangers, anchorages and saddles.
In common with all new highway bridges built for the Department, Severn bridge was designed for a life of at least 120 years and it will be maintained to meet this requirement.
A list of the items of work carried out since the bridge was opened, other known maintenance items and possible future works was deposited in the Library in November 1978 and still remains valid.