The Calix Viaduct in Caen, which crosses the canal to the sea and the river Orne, is now closed to vehicles above 3.5 tonnes. Repairs must be made to the bridge after cracks were discovered.
The restrictions on HGV traffic will be lifted in November at the earliest.
According to local press reports, the 46-year-old bridge is suffering wear and tear issues from the cumulative effect of temperature variations and the weight of traffic crossing it.
Jean-Philippe Vennin, secretary general of the prefecture of Calvados, said last week that although the bridge was “sustainable and solid,” 85,000 vehicles, including 4,000 heavy goods vehicles, use the crossing every day – putting it to the test. The local authority has therefore decided to take immediate measures by banning HGV traffic and starting repair work.
In the meantime, HGV traffic is to be diverted to the southern ring road going towards Cherbourg, or via Colombelles onto the the Bénouville bridge for those traveling towards Ouistreham and its ferry.
The Calix viaduct will only reopen to HGV traffic once the work has been completed and tests have been carried out.