Could the worst have been avoided? Could the problems of the Morandi bridge in Genoa have been anticipated, preventing its collapse in August 2018 and the death of 43 people? If several investigations are in progress, a report published this week by La Repubblica seems to provide an element of response. As Franceinfo explains, the Italian newspaper reveals that a report, seized in the offices of Atlantia (bridge manager) and Autostrade (Italian motorway company) reports the total malfunction of the sensors installed on the motorway bridge from Genoa since 2015. These sensors, which were intended to monitor the state of the Morandi bridge, were damaged during works. Reported, the problem has never been solved, the sensors never replaced.
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According to the report, these sensors could have been of crucial use. In 2014, the latest data collected by these sensors before they were damaged actually gave a first warning of a risk of "collapse" of the bridge. The report, submitted to the boards of the two companies, Autostrade and Atlantia, and a representative of the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure, was presented together with a project to strengthen pillars 9 and 10. It is precisely this pillar that collapsed on August 14, 2018. In a second article, La Repubblica specifies that the danger seems to have been minimized thereafter, the mention of collapse being replaced by a "loss of stability".
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A "theoretical" risk for Autostrade
In front of justice, the Autostrade company officials have always stated that never the risk of "collapse" was written in black on white on a document from the company responsible for monitoring the motorway network. To the revelations of La Repubblica, the company replies that the risk of collapse was only theoretical. The current Minister of Infrastructure, he believes that it is unacceptable that this 2015 report has remained a dead letter.