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New Genoa bridge opens less than two years after collapse

3 Aug 20 Genoa’s kilometre-long new bridge is being officially opened today, less than two years after the fatal collapse of the original structure.

Photos courtesy of WeBuild Group
Photos courtesy of WeBuild Group

Contractors Webuild and Fincantieri have handed over the completed structure to the mayor of Genoa just 15 months after construction began.

The original bridge collapsed on 14th August 2018, killing 43 people.

Construction of its replacement took 420 days, from the laying of the first pier to the delivery of the completed bridge. Work took place around the clock every day - save for Christmas and a few days of bad weather – with more than 1,000 people representing 40 trades working in parallel at 20 work-fronts.

The 1,067m long bridge is supported from 18 piers up to 45m high and has been built using 67,000m3 of reinforced concrete.

Nearly 330 companies from across Italy provided more than €160m (£144m) in supplies and services for the construction of the bridge, representing nearly 80% of the value of the project.

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Everyone who took part has their name engraved on a plaque, which was unveiled last week when the orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia performed at the bridge. The concert was dedicated to the victims of the collapsed bridge as well as the engineers, technicians and all the businesses and institutions that took part in the construction of its replacement. Attendees included the bridge’s architect Renzo Piano, Webuild chief executive Pietro Salini, Fincantieri general manager and consortium president Albetro Maestrini and local officials.

“This bridge is the dream of a lifetime,” said Salini. “We were able to do something beautiful. And we did it with heart – whatever profit that we might earn from this project will go to charity.”

He added: “We put a lot of skill and passion into this project, just like the notes of the music that sounded throughout the valley for our tradesmen during the concert of July 27. We worked day and night with a sense of civic duty. We were proud to collaborate with 330 small companies from all over Italy, every one of them representing the excellence of our ‘Made in Italy’.

The final days of work – which did not stop even during the concert - have seen the laying of the final layer of asphalt, the installation of signage and the setting up of the robotic system that will inspect the structure and allow for any preventive maintenance. On the ground, secondary work will continue and will not impact the use of the new Saint George Bridge.

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