August 14, 2018 will remain forever a fateful date in Italian history. On that day, in Geona, the Morandi bridge – specifically the part of the viaduct stretching over the Polcevera stream connecting the Genoese districts of Sampierdarena and Cornigliano – collapsed. 43 people were killed in the incident and 556 had to be evacuated. Almost two years after this dramatic event, on August 4th, 2020 the brand new Genoa San Giorgio bridge was inaugurated and opened to the public.
The Genoa San Giorgio Bridge is a symbol of sustainability
The Genoa San Giorgio Bridge was immediately recognised as a symbol of rebirth and of a new way of approaching public infrastructure. “Innovative” and “sustainable” are the adjectives most often used to describe it. As well as strategically connecting road traffic in Liguria, the new bridge aims at qualifying as the first Italian infrastructure designed entirely according to sustainability criteria. The structure, designed by architect Renzo Piano, is bright and stands in perfect harmony with the surrounding landscape, thanks to the clear paint finish of its steel elements. The viaduct will also be enriched with intelligent, sustainable technologies, powered by solar panels, to monitor its state constantly, verify the need for maintenance work in real-time, and dehumidify the pillars, thus avoiding the formation of salt condensation and reducing the risk of corrosion.
Starting off on the right foot: reliability, transparency, and sustainability
The Genoa San Giorgio Bridge was designed to be the first of its kind, in many respects. The aim of the project – in addition, of course, to the restoration of an essential link for local and national transport – was to transform a moment of severe disruption into an opportunity, in order to demonstrate that it is possible to operate transparently and reliably and in a sustainable manner. For this reason, Genoa’s new bridge was the first “transparent” building site in the world, with webcams operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and open to the public. In fact, several groups of students were allowed to visit it, to learn how this new element of the Genoese landscape was being built and with what techniques. The experience was enriched by interactive multimedia footage and drones filming it from different angles, thus bringing the viewer into the very heart of the construction work.
A symbol of rebirth and reconstruction
The inauguration of the Genoa San Giorgio Bridge was a highly symbolic event, not only for the city of Genoa but for Italy as a whole. It was not just about transport but rather about an idea of rebirth and development that should be applied to the country in its entirety, at such a delicate moment in our history – which is made even more crucial by the pandemic crisis. This bridge, therefore, stands not only as a great public work but also as a reminder of our ability to plan our future in a sustainable way.