The owner and operator of the Polcevera viaduct was actively tendering for €20M (£17.9M) of structural retrofitting at the time of its collapse, as a stop gap while a complete upgrade of the major road network around Genoa was worked up.
Tender documents seen by New Civil Engineer reveal that the section of the viaduct that collapsed on 14 August, killing at least 38, was set for significant repairs along with the adjacent tower and stay cables.
This would have kept the bridge serviceable while a major upgrade to the area’s strategic network was delivered.
The main stay cables on both sections were scheduled to be beefed up with new steel cables strapped to the surface of the existing concrete cable casings and attached to the deck and apex of the pylon with new steel anchor blocks. In total 55t of steel was predicted to be needed.
Additionally, 35,000m2 of reinforced concrete on the deck, two towers, and their cables were to be shotblasted and repaired, amounting to 1,200m3 of concrete.
The works echo similar repairs done to the third tower, the one closest to the land, in the 1990s. This work is clearly visible on photographs of the bridge following its collapse.
The contract notice was issued on the Official Journal of the European Union and was for “structural retrofitting of the Polcevera viaduct at km 000 + 551 of the A10 Genoa-Savona motorway” on 28 April of this year. Deadline for tenders was 11 June 2018.
There is no evidence of the contract having been awarded by owner and operator Autostrade per L’Italia.
Documents also reveal the operator describes the Polcevera viaduct as a “strategic” asset and the only cable stayed structure on its road network.
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