Engineering Study warned about bridge weakness that fell in Italy

A study warned about the condition of the concrete-covered suspended cables that supported the bridge that collapsed last week in Genoa.

By Redacción MNN Monday, August 20, 2018 comments

The bridge presented problems shortly after it was completed in 1967 and some of the supports were reinforced as early as the 1990s, according to experts.

Parent company Atlantia did not comment immediately on the information published in the newspapers La Stampa and Republica, which cited a study carried out by engineers at the Polytechnic University of Milan in November 2017.

Operating company Autostrade per l’Italia, has said that it examined the bridge quarterly as required by law and that it had carried out additional inspections with the hiring of external experts.

Newspapers said the university’s study had discovered that the supports of the collapsed bridge section this week reacted to the vibration “in a way that does not fully match expectations and requires further investigation.”

The study said that the anomaly in the reaction of the bridge suspensions could have been related to the corrosion of the metal in some cables.

One of the peculiarities of the bridge was that its cables were covered with concrete, which made it difficult to assess its condition.

The collapse has led to a fierce debate about Italy’s infrastructure.

On Saturday Italian President Sergio Mattarella and PM Giuseppe Conte led a state funeral for 18 of the 43 victims that died in Genoa.

Giovanni Castelluci, the boss of operating company Autostrade per l’Italia, said millions of euros for victims’ families would be available from Monday.

He also said the firm would provide funding to help relocate hundreds of people who had to be moved out of their homes after the bridge collapsed.

Castellucci told reporters he would not be stepping down from his position, despite the government requesting the company’s top managers to resign over the deadly collapse.

Shares in Autostrade’s parent company Atlantia plummeted in the aftermath of the disaster.

It’s still unknown what exactly led to the bridge collapse, but local media suggested the bridge structurally failed as a result of a violent storm.