The Morandi bridge fell because it “couldn’t take it anymore” from what it was corroded. This was said in the trial for the collapse of the Genoese viaduct (which occurred on August 14, 2018, with 43 victims) Piergiorgio Malerba, one of the consultants of the prosecutor’s office, heard in the courtroom for about six hours. The technician said he was “surprised by the paucity of checks” and the “lack of topographic surveys”.
The only cause is corrosion
The expert remarked that the checks had to be done “by banging your face on it, at arm’s length, even if our rules do not provide for it”, given the singularity of the work and given that it was known, as early as 1975, that there had been of the discrepancies between the execution and Morandi’s project. “There were no causes other than corrosion. The bridge – Malerba said – couldn’t take it anymore”, given that “all the cables, primary and secondary, of the stays of pier 9 were corroded”.
According to the engineer, there would have been many ways to check the state of the viaduct: «It was possible to carry out surveys with georadar to see the dimensions of the concrete, to be investigated, then, with holes and endoscopy and a comparison of the specular elements» or opt for the cheapest topographic surveys; «doing them every year and overlapping them. Thus, if differences are noticed, the problem is investigated further».
According to Malerba, of these reliefs, “one was made for Morandi at the beginning and then one later in time, but perfectly useless since it was not possible to compare it with anything”. There are 58 defendants among the former managers and technicians of Autostrade per l’Italia and Spea (the subsidiary that was in charge of checks and maintenance), managers of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Superintendency.
The two companies exited the process, negotiating around 30 million. According to the indictment, everyone knew about Morandi’s conditions but nobody did anything, following the logic of saving to ensure greater profits to be distributed to the shareholders.