Tragedy overshadows triumph of new Genoa bridge


The San Giorgio bridge in Genoa is set to open just 15 months from the start of construction work and less than two years since its predecessor, the Morandi Bridge, collapsed with the loss of 43 lives.

The original 1.2 km bridge collapsed in a storm on 14 August 2018, primarily as a result of long-term corrosion.

Computer generated image of the new bridge by the architect

The new viaduct was designed by veteran architect Renzo Piano and opened ‘on time and on budget’.

He told the BBC: ‘I feel pride on one side but at the same time this bridge is born of tragedy. And this will never be forgotten.’

He added: 'Bridges should never collapse. They don’t have the right to collapse.'

Relatives of those who died have criticised the celebratory nature of the inauguration ceremony, due to take place on Monday evening.

Project management consultant RINA said it was instrumental in managing both the demolition of the remaining structure and the construction of the new one

The project involved over 220,000 hours of engineering work, with a team of 80 RINA specialists dedicated to managing the project, guiding the construction phases, timelines, budgets and progress of the work.

There were 20 sites operating simultaneously, seven days a week, 24 hours a day without interruption for almost two years, apart from Christmas Day in 2019.

Picture courtesy of RINA

Ugo Salerno, president and CEO of RINA, said: ‘It seems incredible to think that just 596 days have passed since the start of activities and today we can at last pause to celebrate a project of reconstruction in the heart of Genoa.

‘It all began with a tragic event that we will never forget. But now is the time to build on the positive energy that has been created and look to the future. The "Genoa Model" has already become well known and some say that it is not replicable in other projects, but I don't think that's true.

‘Rapid construction is not a question of skipping procedural steps or paying less attention, but rather of planning each and every activity in detail to overcome the inevitable unforeseen events and get immediate and effective responses from all those involved, in particular from the public authorities.’


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