- Marco Bucci, the mayor of Genoa, Italy, announced Tuesday that plans for a $229 million bridge to replace the collapsed Morandi Bridge are underway. In August, the failure of the structure resulted in the death of 43 people.
- The winning bidder, which will construct the new Renzo Piano-designed span, is Pergenova, a new company formed by Salini Impregilo and Fincantieri Infrastructure. The Italferr state railway subsidiary will handle engineering tasks, the Associated Press reported.
- Salini said construction of the bridge, which crosses the Polcevera River, should take approximately one year after demolition of the Morandi is completed. The design will feature a continuous, 3,609-foot-long steel deck with 20 spans and 19 elliptical, reinforced concrete piers. The bridge will be illuminated by 43 lamps in honor of each of the victims of the Morandi collapse.
Fincantieri plans to build the steel components at its facilities in Genoa and Verona and then transport them to the jobsite to be assembled and welded, keeping much of the work at ground level. The pieces will then be lifted into place and aligned using strand jacks and a mobile crane.
A functional bridge is considered integral to restoring Genoa’s shipping economy. “Twelve months to help relaunch Genoa,” said Pietro Salini, chief executive of Salini Impregilo. "That is the dream that we are hoping to give the Genoese before Christmas in memory of the victims of this terrible tragedy: to relaunch the city as quickly possible and send a strong message to the entire country. Public works can kickstart the economy and start to create jobs again."
Authorities haven’t yet come to a definitive conclusion as to what caused the Morandi collapse, although one theory that investigators are looking into, The New York Times reported, is that the cables in its southern stay broke. Authorities are also exploring whether a lack of maintenance or flaws in the original design led to the failure.
Bridge operator Autostrade per l’Italia, which reportedly has been blamed by the government, said the collapse could be a result of external factors like wind, pollution and weather and has denied that a stay failure could have brought down the bridge. Autostrade is expected to go on trial next year.
Like the Morandi Bridge, there is also no final word yet from the National Transportation Safety Board about what caused the deadly March collapse of a pedestrian bridge at Miami's Florida International University. However, in its latest update in November, the agency pointed to design flaws as a likely factor. The NTSB report said that current facts point to an overestimation of capacity and an underestimation of the expected load at the area of failure. The agency has not indicated when it will be ready to issue a final determination.