Salini Impregilo reported they have reached a milestone for the construction of Genoa bridge as they completed the installation of the bridge’s 18th and final pier.
The construction was undertaken by PerGenova, a joint-venture between Salini Impregilo and Fincantieri. At the same time, the joint-venture has undertaken the raising of the first of the bridge’s three 94m-long decks. When completed, the bridge will carry 19 spans of the deck. The long span design has proven to be the most challenging part of the project’s engineers.
Instead of hoisting the decks using crane conventionally, the team has decided to employed strand jacks to raise the 1,800-tonne spans, using cables to hoist them into position at a height of 40m.
PerGenova said that there are approximately 600 people working on the project on a daily basis and people are able to view their work activities progress in real-time at the website (www.pergenova.com). There is a total of eight webcams to show different locations of the construction site. They have completed all the vertical structures while the horizontal spans are almost 50% completion (500 out of 1,067 metres). The joint venture has committed to complete the new bridge by this summer.
Story Behind Genoa Bridge
The “highly symbolic” bridge is being built to replace the Morandi bridge, which collapsed in August 2018, killing 43 people.
The 1km Morandi bridge in Genoa is part of the Polcevera Viaduct and was built between 1963 and 1967 designed by the engineer, Riccardo Morandi in Venezuela. A larger, similar bridge, General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge in Western Venezuela, designed by the same engineer suffered a partial collapse in 1964 after a tanker collided with the bridge.
Reports have suggested that with the bridge’s age together with adverse weather caused the disaster to happen, especially the incident took place in stormy weather. One of the towers holding up the suspension of the bridge gave way, causing a section to fall onto rail tracks 90m below. Approximately 200m of the bridge collapsed, sending cars hurtling 45m to the ground below. The debris has fallen onto the rail lines, river and a warehouse beneath the bridge.
Although the Italian government are investigating the cause of the incident and the responsible party for the maintenance of the bridge, it might also indicate that reinforcements corrosion and material fatigue, as well as effects of heavy traffic load, wind and earthquake contributes to the bridge collapsing.
The contract of the new Genoa bridge was awarded to PerGenova in December 2018. The new bridge has been designed by architect Renzo Piano.