Victims 'shining like stars' as Italy inaugurates new Genoa bridge

Elias Hubbard
August 5, 2020

They are angry not with him but upset that the company which maintained Morandi Bridge will still run the new bridge for a while longer, since poor maintenance is being investigated as a possible cause of the collapse.

A new motorway bridge has been inaugurated in Genoa, Italy, following the collapse of the previous structure two years ago, which killed 43 people.

These were the details of the news Relatives boycott reopening of Italy's rebuilt Genoa bridge for this day.

President Sergio Mattarella met privately with a number of them.

An investigation into the failure found that the bridge, which was reportedly undergoing road-strengthening work at the time of the collapse, was in a state of structural neglect and, allegedly, was improperly managed and maintained by Atlantia, a private Italian company that, per Euronews, operates almost half of the country's toll motorways as well as several high-traffic airports and airstrips.

Egle Possetti, whose sister died along with her husband and two children when their auto fell from the collapsing bridge, said: "We won't be at the inauguration, we don't want the tragedy to be transformed into a carnival".

Genoa Mayor Marco Bucci, who was also the extraordinary commissioner for the construction of the new bridge, said in a speech that a disaster of this kind must never happen again Liguria Governor Giovanni Toti and the bridge's designer, architect Renzo Piano, also addressed the ceremony.

The deadly collapse of the Morandi Bridge on August 14 2018 has led to a deal whereby the Benetton group will gradually exit Italian motorway management.

When the Morandi bridge, named after the engineer Riccardo Morandi who designed it, opened in 1967 it was hailed as iconic for its innovative technology and became a landmark for the port city. But the structural collapse raised sharp questions about how good the maintenance program was.

Earlier this summer, the Italian government forged a deal in which the Benetton fashion family agreed to exit Autostrade per l'Italia, the company that manages and maintains many of Italy's highways and bridges. That highway concession had included Morandi Bridge.

Mr Piano said the new structure - which he described as a "child born of tragedy" - had a special dehumidification system to limit corrosion and four state-of-the-art robots which will carry out maintenance. The new span is also studded with 43 lamps in memory of the dead.

Mr Piano said he chose to give the new San Giorgio Bridge a low-key architectural style as if the span "is asking permission" to cross the river.

To build the bridge, several apartment buildings that had been constructed under the old span were demolished and the remnants of Morandi Bridge were obliterated with a planned explosion.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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