Transportation experts in Egypt have called for the performance of regular maintenance on the country's roads and bridges, given their role in alleviating the country's traffic crisis and enabling the economy to function.
"It is vitally important that this part of the infrastructure be given attention due to its importance and the fact that it is a central component of the national economy, because good traffic flow in all regions naturally facilitates commercial activity," said Amer Mabrouk, a civil engineer and advisor with the Directorate of Roads and Bridges in Cairo.
"Furthermore, expanding the road network to areas outside urban centres translates into the establishment of new agricultural, industrial and residential areas," he added.
Despite the country's large network of roads and bridges, the current traffic crisis necessitates further expansion and new projects, said Mabrouk.
In 2012 there were 1,530 bridges of all types in Egypt, according to a report by the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics, a 3% increase over the previous year, and 121,390 kilometres of roads, up 2% from 2011.
The majority of bridges and roads are managed by city councils, Mabrouk said, which maintain them in co-ordination with the relevant ministries and the directorate. They are empowered to act in cases where maintenance cannot be postponed, such as road or bridge collapses.