It has been just 19 months since the tragic collapse of the Morandi bridge, officially known as the Polcevera Viaduct, in Genoa. RINA, the company commissioned to manage both the demolition of the old bridge and the rebuilding of the new, has announced that the main construction is completed as the final bridge section was lowered into place. Although not open to the public as yet, this is an important step in the project and one which has been eagerly awaited by Genoa’s population of over 580,000 residents. RINA’s engineers have spent more than 150,000 hours managing this high-profile project from day one and were responsible for delivering the project within budget and on time, despite the challenges of COVID-19.
This was a complex civil engineering infrastructure project with the team having to address the demolition of the old bridge and reconstruction of the new in an urban environment. The works were undertaken in a small, densely populated area where major industrial companies such as Ansaldo Energia are also located. It is criss-crossed by four city roads and a railway which is a vital link to Genoa’s port, plus pre-existing utility network supplies (gas, water, etc.) and a river.
The scale of the project was huge with more than 3,000 technical documents created and around 600 audits conducted with the itinerant checks and approvals on technical, quality, safety and environmental aspects of the plans for the demolition and reconstruction of the bridge. The RINA team also carried out 2,000 inspections at the plants producing the materials and structural elements of the new viaduct and inspected and verified the suitability and conformity of 15 production installations, including those for the production of sheet metal, metalwork, concrete, concrete reinforcement rods and the laboratories carrying out test on materials. In addition, more than 250 technical planning and execution and 220 technical operational coordination meetings have taken place, demonstrating RINA’s commitment to managing the project to completion as quickly as possible while maintaining the very highest standards.
Operations were able to continue during the COVID-19 emergency thanks to the willingness of all the companies involved and the centralised coordination of the project. As Safety Coordinator, RINA put in place the necessary protocols to mitigate the risk of infection as the virus first appeared in Italy. The primary actions undertaken included the continuous training of staff, constant communication as to the progression of the virus and the mandatory self-protection measures required (and provided). These included systematic daily temperature monitoring, the implementation of group shifts allowing prompt isolation when necessary, daily tracking of contacts between people and monitoring to ensure that procedures were applied and adhered to.