Riccardo Morandi (1902-1989) is best known as being the engineer that conceived Morandi Bridge in Genoa. This bridge was part of the Polcevera viaduct on the A10 Autostrada dei Fiori motorway. The bridge, was a major link from Italy to France. The viaduct was built between 1963 and 1967, costing €2 million at that time, and was inaugurated on 4 September 1967.
On 14 August 2018 at around lunch time, during a torrential rainstorm, a 210-metre section of this bridge collapsed. Apparently the bridge was hit by lightning before it collapsed. Between 30 and 35 cars and three trucks were reported to have fallen from the bridge. 43 people were confirmed dead and 16 injured.
The same engineer Morandi, at the end of his career designed also the viaduct Stronetta. This work is the last section of the A26 Voltri-Sempione motorway.
It’s a sort of long ramp that, after the tunnel of Feriolo, descends, making a sharp curve to the left, to the Piano Grande and Gravellona Toce, the terminus of the highway inaugurated in 1995.
Morandi’s original design was prepared in 1984, five years before his death. The works were completed in 1990 and resulted in the construction of a bridge 1,117 meters long, supported by pairs of pylons, placed at regular intervals each of which supports two lanes, which have a particular shape: a stand with four legs.
Morandi is remembered as a pioneer and innovator in the use of prestressed concrete, a technique for which he registered a patent after the Second World War. In his long career, which has also seen him as a university lecturer, he has designed and taught around the world, designing viaducts in Africa, Venezuela, Sweden, Libya, Ecuador, Colombia and Canada.
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