July 26, 2021

Madrid closes traffic and demolishes the Joaqun Costa bridge – La Provincia

The Madrid City Council has immediately cut off traffic on the bridge that connects the streets of Joaquín Costa and Francisco Silvela on the roundabout of López de Hoyos and Príncipe de Vergara to guarantee the security of the area after having found significant damage to its structure, the Town Hall has reported in a statement.

Last February, as part of a routine inspection, longitudinal cracks in the bridge were found to have been object of an in-depth analysis to know the causes and possible pathologies of the structure.

At the same time, as a preventive measure, the immediate cut of one lane per direction on the bridge to reduce loads on it.

The study, carried out by a company of recognized prestige in the field, consisted of an assessment of the situation of the structure through field trials, extraction of samples of the bridge material and its laboratory analysis, all this coinciding with the crisis derived from the Covid-19.

The conclusions of the study, which have just been received by the City Council, have determined that the structure has reached the limit of its useful life, its demolition is recommended and, immediately, total closure to traffic, both on the dash and below it.

The study considers that the bridge is located at levels of security significantly lower than the values ​​contemplated in the current regulations.

Given the forcefulness of the study’s conclusions, the corresponding emergency file will be processed in order to dismantle and demolish the structure in a controlled way immediately.

For this, a technical study of the demolition procedure will be necessary, which, once defined, will specify the term and cost of the action. For all this, the City Council has chosen to secure the area immediately.

In this sense, the technical services of the Government of Works and Equipments and of the Environment and Mobility areas, together with the Municipal Police and the Municipal Transport Company, have proceeded to materialize the traffic cut in the affected area.

Mobility plan

In a first phase, all traffic lanes located both on the board and under the aforementioned structure are cut to traffic, keeping a single lane enabled on each side, exclusively for authorized vehicles, residents and services.

Joaquín Costa is cut from his intersection with Velázquez, as well as the underpass of the Plaza de República Argentina in the Avenida de América direction. The preferred route for the exit towards the A-2 It will be on Serrano and María de Molina streets.

On the other hand, the Francisco Silvela underpass is cut under Avenida de América, being the preferred alternative route by Diego de León-Velázquez, for which the turn left to Diego de León from Francisco Silvela.

Also, it is restricted to traffic in Príncipe de Vergara, from the intersection with María de Molina to the intersection with López de Hoyos and the latter is cut from its intersection with María de Molina to the intersection with Príncipe de Vergara. Local accesses are maintained although the sides are cut.

On the other hand, the 36 parking spaces located under the bridge, plus all the existing reserves in the López de Hoyos roundabout.

Parking bands will be enabled in Príncipe de Vergara in the last sections where the street is cut, as well as in López de Hoyos, where reservations for vehicles and motorcycles will be prepared.

In order to facilitate traffic permeability and facilitate alternative routes, the following movements will be allowed in stages over time at intersections: turn – only for buses – to the left from María de Molina towards Príncipe de Vergara, left turn from Príncipe de Vergara towards María de Molina and increased accumulation of Francisco Silvela’s turn (lateral) towards María de Molina.

As alternative routes, motorized traffic on high-capacity roads, such as the M-30, is recommended in the case of long-distance routes.

In the case of proximity traffic, it is proposed to travel along Ramón y Cajal, Doctor Arce, Serrano, Velázquez or Diego de León avenue, which in turn offer a good alternative connection to the M-30.

Will be affected the lines of the EMT of the daytime network 9-29-52-72-73-C1-C2 and the line N2 of the night network, that from July 11 they will modify their itineraries.

Detailed information on new itineraries and alternative stops can be found on the EMT website: www.emtmadrid.es.

Initially, pedestrian crossing under the bridge structure will not be allowed in its entire length, although during the works Access to homes and shops in the area will be guaranteed.

Depending on the evolution of the traffic cuts and the actions that are undertaken, different options will be enabled to improve the mobility of the area, both pedestrian and vehicle. The municipal website will have updated and detailed information on the mobility operation at all times.


The Joaquín Costa-Francisco Silvela bridge is one of the most important structures of the so-called ‘second belt’ of Madrid, which bypasses the expansion of the 19th century city by Reina Victoria, Raimundo Fernández Villaverde, Joaquín Costa, Francisco Silvela and Doctor Esquerdo streets by means of a succession of overpasses and underpasses that provide the itinerary with a great capacity for absorbing traffic by minimizing the level intersections with the main cross roads.

It is a viaduct dating from 1969, it consists of 360 meters in length and It is made up of 11 continuous spans without joints, with 33.8 meters of light in the middle and 27.6 meters at the ends.

At its southern end, traffic is channeled directly from the Francisco Silvela underpass under Avenida de América with no surface connections.

At its northern end, the bridge lands on the surface before Joaquín Costa intersection with Velázquez.

The structure is integrated into the City of Madrid Step Works Management System, through which they are regularly inspected all city bridges, walkways, overpasses and tunnels to detect potential problems that may arise in its maintenance state.

Specifically, this bridge has undergone routine monthly inspections, annual basic inspections, and four major inspections in the past eight years: August 2012, April 2014, October 2015 and September 2019, not having detected in them any serious problem.

In addition, it is the circumstance that this structure has had major repairs in the 90s in its extreme north and in 2015 the waterproofing your flooring.


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