- The joint venture of Salini Impregilo and Ficantieri Infrastructure announced this week they have installed the last span, measuring 144 feet long and weighing 900 metric tons, on the bridge that will replace the Morandi Bridge in Genoa, Italy. The Morandi collapsed in August 2018, killing 43 people and cutting off a major trade route between Italy and France.
- Salini said the steel and concrete structure, built in 10 months, took advantage of prefabrication for some of the elements. The new bridge is comprised of a 3,500-foot continuous steel deck with 19 spans, supported by 18 elliptical reinforced concrete piers. The steel portion of the deck is made of three transversal segments, which Salini said sped up construction and assembly of several spans in sequence.
- Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Salini CEO Pietro Salini and other dignitaries were on hand to mark the completion of the deck. The bridge is scheduled to open to traffic in July.
RINA Consulting was brought on as project manager for the bridge replacement. The company said in a press release that the project generated 3,000 technical documents; underwent approximately 600 audits dealing with technical, quality, safety and environmental aspects of both the demolition and reconstruction plans; and was subject to 2,000 inspections at production plants and onsite. The inspections included examinations of the production of sheet metal, metalwork, concrete and concrete reinforcement rods and the laboratories performing material tests.
RINA was also the project's official safety coordinator and had to establish special protocols so that crews could continue working during the COVID-19 pandemic. The novel coronavirus hit Italy early on and particularly hard.
Safety procedures during the bridge's construction included continuous training of staff as well as constant updates about the progression of the virus. "Self-protection" measures included:
- Daily temperature monitoring.
- Daily contact tracing.
- Use of group shifts so as to allow for quick isolation, if needed.
- Consistent monitoring to ensure everyone followed established protocols.
Additional safety measures, according to Salini, included:
- Distribution of hand sanitizer and installation of disinfectant gel dispensers.
- Social distancing.
- Disinfecting work and common areas.
- Limiting the number of people who could share a vehicle to and from work.
- Mandatory wearing of protective masks when working in close proximity to others.
An employee of one of the project companies tested positive for COVID-19, and that company immediately disinfected work areas, tools and equipment. The contractor also replaced workers who came in contact with the infected individual, Salini said.
In his comments at the public event, Salini called for a "new Marshall plan" using the successful completion of the bridge as a launching pad for a program that would see a comprehensive infrastructure construction and maintenance approach throughout Italy.
This statement comes on the heels of bridge collapse in the Tuscany region of Italy earlier this month. No one was killed as a result of the incident, according to the Associated Press, but local officials had expressed concern prior to the collapse about the structure's integrity after heavy trucks were forced to use the bridge because of nearby road closures.