Tragedy struck the Italian city of Genoa in 2018 when the city’s Morandi Bridge collapsed under heavy rain, taking 43 lives in the process. Now, after 15 months of almost non-stop work, a beautiful new bridge has now been completed by the firm of renowned architect Renzo Piano (RPBW).
Though first and foremost a tragedy, the Morandi Bridge’s collapse also represented the loss of a much-needed transport link in the area. But instead of building a similar bridge to the old one, the firm took the opportunity to design a stronger, greener bridge. Now named the Genova San Giorgio Bridge, it features solar panels that run along the deck’s edge which produce enough energy to run its lighting and other systems, night and day.
Significant attention has been paid to the bridge’s safety and maintenance too. Specialist dampers protect against seismic activity and robots are used to clean the glass barrier and solar panels. Robots also monitor the bridge’s structure and the data collected is added to data from a complex system of sensors that include accelerometers, velocimeters, inclinometers, and detectors for joint expansion and other potential issues. Everything from the thickness of the paint to the strength of the welds holding the deck together will be closely monitored, ensuring that the bridge continues to operate safely for many years into the future.
The project involved over 1,000 people from 40 trades working non-stop in shifts around the clock, except for Christmas Day and a few other days when severe weather made work impossible.
At the Optimist Daily, we never want to see tragedy, but what impresses us time and time again is how resilient people are in the face of adversity. This story is another example of exactly that.