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Author Topic: Motorway bridge collapses in Genoa, Italy  (Read 818 times)

GreenLanternCorps

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Motorway bridge collapses in Genoa, Italy
« on: August 14, 2018, 07:46:19 AM »

Horrifying...

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45183624


A major bridge has collapsed near the northern Italian city of Genoa, police say.

The bridge, a part of the A10 motorway, is about 100 metres tall, Italian media say - and there are unconfirmed reports that cars may have been involved.

Photographs from the scene show huge sections of rubble on the ground underneath the middle of the bridge.

One image shows a truck perched at the end of the surviving bridge section immediately before the drop.

Emergency responders are on the scene, but there are no details yet on whether there are casualties.

There are fears several vehicles may have fallen when the bridge collapsed, local media report.

The bridge, built in the 1960s, is known as the Morandi bridge. The missing section is dozens of metres in length, and run across the span of the Polcevera stream.

Italian newspaper La Repubblica described that part of the city as "densely inhabited".
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Motorway bridge collapses in Genoa, Italy
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2018, 08:53:35 AM »

So much for everyone saying they build everything better over there...
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Re: Motorway bridge collapses in Genoa, Italy
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2018, 09:01:17 AM »

So much for everyone saying they build everything better over there...

1. Are you sure it wasn't just the end of its lifetime?
2. They could still build things better over there if they have very few collapses compared to the United States, and this was one of the very few. (I say "very few" instead of just "fewer" because you would expect fewer collapses with fewer miles of roads in the network.)
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ET21

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Re: Motorway bridge collapses in Genoa, Italy
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2018, 09:33:06 AM »

Leading suspected cause is a "cloudburst". Witnesses are saying they saw lightning strike the bridge, then it collapsed....

Might be more of age finally got to it
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Motorway bridge collapses in Genoa, Italy
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2018, 09:38:12 AM »

If it was built in the 1960s, that makes the bridge only about 50 years old or so.  Bridges usually have lifespans much longer than that.
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roadman

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Re: Motorway bridge collapses in Genoa, Italy
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2018, 10:17:03 AM »

Latest is 22 dead.  Tragic event.  And, not to make light of such a serious situation, but when I first saw the images, I couldn't help but think of the Thunderbirds episode Day of Disaster.

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Re: Motorway bridge collapses in Genoa, Italy
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2018, 11:04:29 AM »

Astey Highways covered this stretch of Autostrada A10.  The bridge in the video begins at around 3:25.
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Chris

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Re: Motorway bridge collapses in Genoa, Italy
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2018, 11:08:44 AM »

Bridge collapses are a somewhat regular occurrance in Italy, though a bridge collapse of this calibre is very rare, this may be the largest collapse ever in Europe.

A complete pylon of the cable-stayed bridge collapsed. It is a 3-pylon cable-stayed bridge, built between 1963 and 1967. It is a crucial point in the Genova motorway network, this will significantly impact traffic for a long, long time.

Recent bridge collapses in Italy;

* 2018: a bridge span of RA1 in Bologna collapsed after a tanker truck explosion
* 2017: a local bridge collapsed in Cuneo (onto a police cruiser)
* 2017: an overpass of A14 near Castelfidardo collapsed onto traffic
* 2016: an overpass of SS 36 near Lecco collapsed due to an extremely overweight truck
* 2015: an under renovation span of the Viadotto Italia collapsed, plunging one worker 80 meters down.
* 2015: a bridge on A19 on Sicily partially collapsed
* 2014: a bridge of SS 626 near Licata collapsed

There are probably more... https://www.corriere.it/cronache/18_agosto_14/dieci-ponti-crollati-5-anni-in-calo-investimenti-manutenzione-8bd5fb56-9fb8-11e8-9437-bcf7bbd7366b.shtml

bing101

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Re: Motorway bridge collapses in Genoa, Italy
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2018, 12:51:59 PM »

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45183624

Update 35 people are reported dead at the Italy Bridge.

Also there are reports that a storm took down the bridge in Italy

https://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2018/08/14/italy-genoa-bridge-collapse-vpx.cnn
« Last Edit: August 14, 2018, 12:58:37 PM by bing101 »
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Motorway bridge collapses in Genoa, Italy
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2018, 01:07:27 PM »

According to one of the stories on this page, a design that was supposed to prevent corrosion didn't work.  The structure started deteriorating at "great speed", and at 20 years of age the structure already needed reinforcement. 

Another article read that work was ongoing at the base of the tower that broke/collapsed.

https://www.cnn.com/europe/live-news/genoa-bridge-collapse/index.html
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Chris

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Re: Motorway bridge collapses in Genoa, Italy
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2018, 01:43:30 PM »

So much for everyone saying they build everything better over there...

"over there" is a huge generalization :-) There are 30+ countries in Europe with each having wildly varying design standards, construction history and maintenance levels. It wasn't until 2012 or so that the Eurocodes were universally adopted across the EU, so the vast majority of bridges were built before that time.

Bridges age and need renovation or replacement in the long term. The condition of bridges vary wildly across Europe, it is known that in countries like Germany, Italy or Bulgaria many bridges are in need of replacement, whereas this need is much lower in Spain, France or Scandinavia.

Germany and Italy are the most troubled countries, simply due to the sheer amount of bridges in poor condition. There are restrictions on many Autobahn bridges and a large number (in the hundreds) can not be economically repaired and need to be demolished.

It is my impression that both Germany and Italy have large numbers of deficient bridges, but Germany appears to have them monitored better than Italy. Italy has seen more bridge collapses than Germany. In Germany they take precautions such as lowering the weight limit or banning trucks all together.

In Italy there appears to be a quality difference between the tolled motorways, and the state-owned other highways. Though this bridge in Genova was on the tolled network of Autostrade per l'Italia...

jeffandnicole

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Re: Motorway bridge collapses in Genoa, Italy
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2018, 01:55:49 PM »

So much for everyone saying they build everything better over there...

"over there" is a huge generalization :-) There are 30+ countries in Europe with each having wildly varying design standards, construction history and maintenance levels. It wasn't until 2012 or so that the Eurocodes were universally adopted across the EU, so the vast majority of bridges were built before that time.

Oh, I know.  But listen to most Americans and they don't think things ever break down in Europe!
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J N Winkler

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Re: Motorway bridge collapses in Genoa, Italy
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2018, 03:37:59 PM »

This incident highlights some of the downside risks of long valley viaducts, which are more common in western Europe and China than in the US.  When the I-35W Mississippi River bridge collapsed, ~180 people were on it, but there were only 13 deaths, which translates into better than 90% survival odds:  there was only a shorter distance to fall and plastic deformation of the deck truss (after it hit river bottom) had a cushioning and energy-dissipating effect.  On the A10 bridge in Italy, on the other hand, traffic on the collapsed segment faced a 27-story drop.  The Guardian is currently reporting that there were 20 vehicles on the fallen section and 22 people are confirmed dead.

Autostrade says the deck slab was being worked on and a construction crane had been transported to the site, so I suspect construction and possibly wind loads were proximate causes.

Where the US favored steel trusses for bridges during the era of initial Interstate construction, much of western Europe moved on to various forms of tensioned concrete construction.  As a result, the Europeans don't have anything like our problems with fracture-critical bridges, but have taken on a lot of technological risk because corrosion of tensioning cables inside grouted ducts is very hard to catch.
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mgk920

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Re: Motorway bridge collapses in Genoa, Italy
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2018, 04:17:57 PM »

That entire section of the A10 is a very major east-west through highway that passes through a rugged (indeed!) shore area of the French and Italian Riviera.  It was essentially built 'halfway up the hill' from the Mediterranean coastline and makes incredible use of both tunnels and viaduct bridging.  It is built to the very narrow roadway standards of its day and, IMHO, has desperately needed upgrading to six lanes with wider roadways (just bring them up to 'autobahn' standards, OK?) for many years now.

And there are no good ways for through traffic to get around this failed bridge.

Mike
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Chris

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Re: Motorway bridge collapses in Genoa, Italy
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2018, 04:39:37 PM »

Where the US favored steel trusses for bridges during the era of initial Interstate construction, much of western Europe moved on to various forms of tensioned concrete construction.  As a result, the Europeans don't have anything like our problems with fracture-critical bridges, but have taken on a lot of technological risk because corrosion of tensioning cables inside grouted ducts is very hard to catch.

Even within Europe there are significant differences with concrete bridges.

For example in the Netherlands most concrete bridges are in better condition than anticipated. They designed the bridges with a certain load capacity after hardening of concrete after 28 days. However in reality the concrete continues to harden beyond those 28 days, so the bridge has a 10-20% better capacity than it is designed for, resulting in a ~30 year longer lifespan than anticipated. There have been no bridge replacements in the Netherlands for reasons other than capacity expansion.

The situation is starkly different in Germany, where many concrete bridges are in poor condition and need replacement. Some sections of Autobahn, such as A1 near Dortmund/Wuppertal need a replacement of basically every single structure due to their poor condition. Autobahns like A7, A44 and A45 have similar problems. They need a large-scale replacement of bridges that is not prompted by the need for more capacity. Such things are unheard of in the Netherlands. So two neighboring countries, very different situations.

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Re: Motorway bridge collapses in Genoa, Italy
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2018, 12:21:26 PM »

And there are no good ways for through traffic to get around this failed bridge.
They, finally, got the legal stuff done to build a big bypass around Genoa. Shovels are due to go into the ground soonish, IIRC.

That build might be accelerated by throwing more money at it (the big thing is tunnel boring - more money = more TBMs + crews = shorter build time as you'll build in parallel, rather than sequential) - though would still be a long way off, it would probably be quicker than replacing the bridge which would need to go through the whole planning process and what not.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Motorway bridge collapses in Genoa, Italy
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2018, 01:34:00 PM »

I highly doubt fresh approvals would have to be obtained for a like-for-like replacement of the missing segment provided assurances can be given that it would be sound.  But if it is found that the collapse resulted from a design weakness that is present in other elements of the structure, complete replacement might be the expedient alternative.  This could probably be fast-tracked in much the same way as the current I-35W St. Anthony Falls bridge, which was open fourteen months after Bridge 9304 collapsed.

Casual inspection of Genoa in Google Maps suggests that local traffic can be diverted between the A10 and the A7 via SS 1 (Via Aurelia), though not without pain.

There is wild talk of cancelling Autostrade's concession for the A10, however, so it is hard to tell who will orchestrate reinstatement of the missing link or when concrete steps will be taken toward that end.
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Re: Motorway bridge collapses in Genoa, Italy
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2018, 06:45:15 PM »

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J N Winkler

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Re: Motorway bridge collapses in Genoa, Italy
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2018, 12:02:48 AM »

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