Clear fire safety design guidance for bridges should be “accelerated” after the collapse of a rail bridge in Arizona, USA, according to leading bridge expert Ian Firth.

The Salt River Union Pacific Bridge collapsed last week, after a freight train derailed and caught fire. Nobody was seriously injured during the incident.

A bridge consultant at Cowi – told NCE that the collapse highlights a gap in current design guidance.“There is a lot of discussions among bridge engineers at them moment about design guidance for bridges in relation to fire safety,” Firth said. “I think this collapse will accelerate or speed up the conversations that are already being had about design guidance.

“There is currently no widely accepted official guidance in the UK or anywhere else to my knowledge that outlines best practice when it comes to fire resistance.”He added: “I am talking about guidance not an enforceable set of standards that are similar to those seen on buildings.

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