Near Béziers, the Tabarka Bridge in Lignan-sur-Orb shows worrying signs of weakness

Near Béziers, the Tabarka Bridge in Lignan-sur-Orb shows worrying signs of weakness

La circulation est restreinte sur le pont de Tabarka entre Lignan-sur-Orb et Maraussan car l'ouvrage est fragilisé. Claude Roma

The municipalities of Lignan-sur-Orb and Maraussan have just signed a joint municipal decree limiting traffic on the Tabarka bridge which allows the crossing of the Orb. A thorough inspection will be carried out very quickly because: "The work has been working incorrectly for years".

Access to the Tabarka bridge, between Lignan-sur-Orb and Maraussan, is now limited to vehicles weighing less than 3.5 tonnes and their gauge must not exceed 2.10 m : thus decided the two mayors of the municipalities managing the work to ensure the safety of users. This after reading an expert report from the Biterrois departmental technical agency, but also at the request of the State representative in Béziers who asked, without delay, actions to prevent large tonnage vehicles from accessing the bridge.

Returned to Sivu by the City of Béziers

The Tabarka bridge was used in the past to support a railway line starting from Béziers and stopping at Saint-Chinain. He had already been talked about on August 21, 1892 during a train accident linking the Gare du Nord in Béziers to Saint-Chinian. It also had the particularity of belonging to the City of Béziers. It was during a mandate of Raymond Couderc that the work was transferred to the two municipalities of Lignan and Maraussan because it was then in poor condition. It had therefore been retroceded, within the framework of a single-purpose intercommunal union (Sivu), to the two municipalities.

More and more borrowed

"With the work on the Béziers bypass , explains Philippe Vidal, vice-president of the Department council in charge of road infrastructure, de more and more vehicles use this structure. At the beginning of February, it was the subject of an unannounced inspection, as is done regularly, by Céréma agents. Measures were necessary."

And the mayor of Cazouls-lès-Béziers continued: "We were alerted by the mayor of Lignan, Catherine Montaron-Sanmarti with whom we are now working on this issue. The work does not present any defects of an absolute emergency nature. But a corrosion alert  was advanced. The structure shows signs of weakness which require passage restriction measures. We will follow all these developments and help the municipalities."           

Work that could be very high                

The amount of work to be carried out can amount to several thousand euros; or several hundred thousand euros. If the cost were much higher, we would move forward with the construction of a new structure altogether. But for now, there is nothing to indicate that this is the path that is being taken. Expertise and other studies are underway with the help of the Department's services in support of the two municipalities.

Precautionary principle

"With the mayor of Maraussan, indicates Catherine Montaron-Sanmarti, We are aware that with this decision, some local residents and regular users of the bridge will be unhappy. We apply a precautionary principle to ensure security and public order."

The mayor of Lignan, who is president of Sivu which manages and maintains the work since 2023, inherited a situation which had already been reported in a report dating from 2016 and who already recommended the carrying out of safety work on this bridge and which were never carried out. For some time there has been an increase in road traffic because the GPS designates this road as a relief route used by heavy goods vehicles even though the tonnage is already limited to 7.5 tonnes.

Deforming corrosion

" The expertise that I requested, as president, made it possible to highlight problems of very advanced deforming corrosion of the angles and traces of violent impact, but also an unfavorable evolution of the dimensioned work originally for the passage of trains. A thorough inspection will be carried out promptly."

In the coming days, the mayors of Maraussan and Lignan-sur-Orb will request the representative of the State, the president of the Béziers Méditerranée agglomeration community , the president of the community of communes of Domitienne and the president of the departmental council so that together the technical and financial means can be found for
provide a solution and undertake maintenance or even repair work, which the intercommunal union alone does not have the means to undertake.

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