A bridge in Aulla, in northern Italy, collapsed in early April. The bridge normally experiences high traffic throughout the day, however, due to the coronavirus and its ensuing lockdown status in the country, only two vans were on the bridge at the time. Both drivers were taken to hospital and fortunately survived the incident.
The collapse of the bridge highlights the necessity of maintenance on infrastructure, and particularly in Italy. It is the third bridge to collapse in two years, with forty-five people dying in 2018 after the collapse of the Polcevera Viaduct in Genoa, and in November 2019, a motorway bridge in Liguria collapsed after a landslide.
The fifty-year old structure in Aulla flattened across the river, resembling a toy bridge in a child’s room crushed by a parent’s stray foot. According to New Civil Engineer, a lack of, or poor, maintenance is almost certainly to blame for the bridge’s collapse. Six spans of the bridge fell, most likely attributed to river pier failing initially and creating a pull-down effect, which could be caused from rusted bearings between the deck and piers1. Regular inspections and maintenance would have prevented the bridge’s collapse.
Additionally, residents in a town near to the bridge reported seeing a crack after heavy rainfall in late 2019. The crack was repaired, and the bridge deemed safe by a team of technicians2.
Ongoing assessments into the collapse of the bridge in Aulla continue, with an analysis of the country’s infrastructural works to become top priority.
Let us know your thoughts on maintenance of bridges and other infrastructure. We’d love to hear about your business’s maintenance procedures and how they align with your strategic asset management plans. Contact us today via firstname.lastname@example.org