Exactly one year ago to the day, the Genoa Viaduct collapsed
It is today at 11:36 am precisely that the Genoa viaduct collapsed a year ago. In a heavy rainy day, the bridge's number 9 pile was struck by lightning before it broke, carrying the deck and the vehicles travelling on it with it. The tragedy killed 43 people. This August 14, 2018 created an indelible wound in the city of Genoa. This wound then spread to the whole of Europe.
A year later, things have progressed considerably and the country is trying to give Genoa the peace it deserves. Thus, to erase the stigmas of the past, the last piles of the bridge were demolished in a few seconds on June 28, 2019. The construction of a new bridge by the Italian architect Renzo Piano has already been validated.
President Sergio Mattarella, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Deputy Prime Minister Salvini and many civilian and military authorities will participate in the tribute paid to the victims of the disaster. The Benetton family will also attend this ceremony in memory of the 43 victims. The latter, which owns 30% of the Atlantia group, which itself owns the motorway company Autostrade per l'Italia, responsible for the Genoa viaduct, has been under fire from government critics.
The Archbishop of Genoa, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, will preside over the ceremony in the hangar where the new pile number 9 of the Polcevera Viaduct will be built. After the interventions of the Mayor of Genoa, Marco Bucci, the entire city will observe a minute's silence at 11:36 am. The sound of church bells will ring and the sirens of the ships docked at the port will whistle.
The Genoa Viaduct or Morandi Bridge was inaugurated in 1967. Designed by the Italian engineer Riccardo Morandi, this bridge has the particularity of having a very small number of shrouds. The steel cables rested in a concrete hull that balanced the deck. Over the period 2015-2018, critical failures have already been observed, particularly in the case of piles, which were moving several tens of centimetres, according to an unpublished NASA study.