If you work in construction and have always wanted to work and live in Europe, then this could be good news for you. The mayor of Genoa, Italy, recently announced plans for a $229 million bridge to rebuild the Morandi Bridge. The bridge collapsed last August due to worn out cables and other components.
A preliminary investigation determined that the bridge had not been properly maintained. In addition, during its initial construction, faulty or poor-grade products may have been used. Witnesses said that the bridge had been recently struck by lightning as well.
Unfortunately, 43 people died when the bridge collapsed. It spanned 3,878 feet and connected the A10 and A7 motorways to Milan. It was originally designed by Riccardo Morandi, a well-known architect and engineer who died in 1989. During his lifetime Morandi designed several well-known bridges such as the General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge in Venezuela.
Storms on the Morning of the Accident
Genoa was hit by a line of strong thunderstorms on the morning of the bridge collapse. Then at around noon, a 300-foot section of the highway fell approximately 150 feet to the ground.
One driver who witnessed the accident, Davide Ricci, described the horrific incident. “I saw the bridge collapse in front of my eyes; the debris from the collapse landed 20 meters away from my car. It felt as if electricity was traveling from above downward, as if one of the beams had been struck by lightning.”
Other witnesses described a chaotic scene where no one really knew what was happening until the whole thing was over. Motorists weren’t the only ones at risk during the tragedy. Nearby apartment complexes and homes were damaged or destroyed and many people had to be evacuated. It took hundreds of emergency workers and volunteers to search through the rubble for victims. Residents were naturally angry, as the facts unfolded and the causes became clear.
The new bridge will feature much more resilient design elements, plus it will be constructed of superior grade materials. Bidding for the new bridge in Genoa is now complete and a company called Pergenova won the bid on this contract. The new bridge will be of Renzo Piano-design and construction with the Italferr state railway subsidiary handling all engineering duties.
Specs of the New Bridge
The innovative design will feature a 3,609-foot-long steel deck illuminated by 43 lamps in memory of the 43 victims of the Morandi collapse. The project will begin with the demolition of the Morandi Bridge. Once that has been completed, work will begin on the new bridge which crosses the Polcevera River. Experts are estimating that the project will take approximately one year to complete once all demolition has been done.
Could Other Bridges Be In Danger of Collapse?
Other bridges throughout Italy are being examined to ensure that there’s no danger of imminent collapse. There are thousands of bridges across America that are also in danger of collapse. This is either due to their age, poor construction and/or lack of proper maintenance. They pose a significant risk to motorists, but the government has said that the task of upgrading them would cost too much.