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  • 2020-03-15
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Latest milestone in Genoa's Polcevera Bridge replacement project has been  passed with installation of a 1,800t section of bridge deck.

The Polcevera crossing collapsed in 2018, killing 43 people and injuring 13. During heavy rainfall, one of the bridge's towers and a 260m long section of the deck collapsed, sending the E80 motorway plummeting nearly 50m to the ground.

Joint Venture Salini Impregilo and Fincantieri installed the latest section this month, meaning the bridge deck has passed the 650m mark – more than half its length.

The section, which weighed 1,800t and is 94m long, was transported using remote controlled wheeled platforms. Strand jacks were then used to hoist the deck section to the top of its piers at a rate of 5m per hour.

Eleven of the 19 spans have now been installed over the Polcevera River. The JV announced in February it had installed all 18 piers for the £176.7M (€202M) bridge.

The new viaduct will be much simpler than its predecessor, helping the speed of construction, with a consistent structure throughout and no cable stays design thanks to advances in technology and materials.

Contractors also had to go through the complicated task of demolishing what remained of the former bridge, which involved detonating the two remaining towers in June 2019.

A report on the cause of the collapse of the initial bridge was published in autumn last year, with a probe revealing that some safety tests may have been falsified. Bridge operator Autostrade criticised the report, saying that it did not take into account clarification provided by its engineers and that is technical staff had not been permitted the access needed to carry out analysis investigations.

The new bridge, made of 67,000m3 of concrete (the equivalent of one and a half Empire State buildings), will use robots to provide constant monitoring of the structure, routine inspections and regular maintenance.

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