A 4,500 tonne Morandi bridge were detonated at 9:37 am (local time) and took just seven seconds to collapse in a cloud of dust. The bridge in Genoa collapsed nearly a year ago, killing 43 people, was demolished on Friday to make way for a new structure.
Nearly 4,000 residents were evacuated ahead of the demolition, and water tanks were placed around the towers to prevent the spread of dust. Some 400 security forces were also deployed to the area.
Locals and officials including Deputy Prime Ministers Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio witnessed the blast.
The dismantling of the remains of the bridge, which collapsed in bad weather on August 14th, 2018, started in February. The disaster threw the spotlight on Italy’s creaking infrastructure, which Salvini suggested EU budget spending demands from Brussels had limited Italy’s ability to maintain.
Ahead of the demolition, local residents expressed relief that the eyesore would finally be gone, but were also concerned about the possible consequences of the explosion.
The bridge “is high, it is big, it is full of iron, it is super heavy… I don’t know what will happen when it falls. Apart from the dust it will cause, I am worried about the impact,” local resident Francesco Russo told AFP TV.
With the demolition over, officials are now waiting for the arrival of a ship transporting the first parts of a new bridge, the construction of which is scheduled to begin next year.
The government has promised that the new steel and concrete motorway bridge, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, will be open for traffic in April 2020.
Source : Various