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Bridge Collapses in Italy, No Fatalities

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

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Over a year after the Morandi Bridge collapsed in Genoa, Italy, claiming 43 lives, another bridge, located near Savona, also collapsed, with no reported casualties. Torrential downpour had a significant impact on the country, resulting in a landslide, according to reports.

According to The Guardian, a 30-meter (100-foot) section of elevated highway that runs along a viaduct collapsed on Sunday (Nov. 24). Giovanni Toti, the governor of Liguria, noted that the landslide was likely the reason for the accident. No vehicles were reported as stuck.

What Happened

The viaduct, which serves the A6 highway, is in a part of Italy that lies between Turin and France. Images of the incident bring to mind the collapse of the Morandi Bridge, continuing to underscore concerns over the state of the country’s infrastructure.

The landslide reportedly began on a mountain that overlooks the highway, eventually hitting one of the bridge pillars around 2 p.m. on Sunday. Societa Iniziative Autostradali e Servizi (SIAS)—the company that operates the A6 highway—also detailed that it was not responsible for the condition of the mountain.

Reuters reports that no casualties have been reported to date. Autostrada dei Fiori, a unit of SIAS, added that everyone’s “effort at this stage is aimed at confirming that this is the case.”

Liguria is the same region where the Morandi Bridge collapsed. Torrential downpour has also contributed to widespread flooding in northern Italy throughout the month of November.

"We must do all we can to give Liguria a special plan for infrastructure security," said Infrastructure Minister Paola De Micheli.

Similar promises have been made in the past, however: An endeavor to establish an agency for the monitoring of bridges and tunnels, announced after the Morandi Bridge collapse, has reportedly made little progress.

Moving Forward

After the Morandi Bridge collapse, Egle Possetti, the president of a committee focused on the victims of that disaster, emphasized that they “want a serious commitment from our government and from parliament so that our country is made safe and every trip does not become a game of Russian roulette.” Morandi victims also said that the most recent collapse "was like going back 15 months for us."

The mayor of Venice noted that the flooding from the downpour earlier this month likely resulted in 1 million euros’ ($1.1 million) worth of damage.

Oliviero Baccelli , a professor of transportation politics and economics at Bocconi University, in Milan, noted that, currently, there “are about 43,000 road bridges in Italy, and responsibility is so fragmented between public and private operators, regions, provinces and towns that for more than 1,600 of them, we don't know who's responsible.”

Infrastructure built in mountainous areas means steep hillsides, and these hillsides are becoming more unstable due to heightened weather.

Antonello Fiore, a geologist who heads the Italian Society for Environmental Geology, noted that entitles must monitor both infrastructure and the surrounding area.

"You can have the most stable viaduct from a structural point of view, but a landslide will rip it down all the same,” said Fiore.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Bridges; Health & Safety; Infrastructure; NA; North America; Project Management

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