Tragedy of Italian Bridge Collapse

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The Italian port city of Genoa experienced a terrible bridge collapse just one day before Italy’s major summer holidays on 14 August. A large section of the Morandi bridge collapsed amid heavy rainfall. Dozens of vehicles plunged 45m amid heavy traffic resulting in a death toll of 43. Genoa residents Carmelo and Wanda Presti said they thought there was an earthquake when they heard the sound of the bridge collapsing.

Part of the 1.2km (0.8 mile) long bridge spans the Polcevera waterway, with other portions reaching over railway lines and buildings.

It was designed by Riccardo Morandi and completed in 1967, but restructuring work was carried out in 2016.

Reasons for the collapse:

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> Some experts have suggested that the ongoing maintenance work may have been a factor in the collapse.

> Others have suggested it may have been caused by a design flaw or heavy traffic.

> The bridge sees some 25 million vehicles every year, and a 2011 report by an Italian highways company said that the bridge had been suffering from degradation.

Antonio Brencich, a structural engineer who lectures at Genoa University, wrote in 2016 that it may have been more economical to rebuild the bridge because of the ongoing maintenance costs. “There are errors in this bridge. Sooner or later, it will have to be replaced. I don’t know when,” he warned.

Our thoughts & prayers are with the friends & families of the victims.

Let’s hope there is a thorough engineering inspection and risk assessment of other bridges in Europe to avoid a similar disaster.

Hope you have a good month

Mike

Reference: BBC News, ABC News
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About Mike Osborn CEng

A Chartered Engineer and member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers living in the UK with a passion for engineering design, technology and innovation, peppered with a little humour. Presently running a small engineering design & CAD drawing solutions business, serving mainly London and home counties. www.osborndesign.co.uk
This entry was posted in Bridges, business, civil engineering, design, Engineering, Europe, failure, material science, mechanical, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, technology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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