Management Of New Genoa Bridge Must Be Decided Through Public Tender, ASPI Excluded - NPO

Management of New Genoa Bridge Must Be Decided Through Public Tender, ASPI Excluded - NPO

GENOA (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 10th July, 2020) The company that will get the concession to run the new Genoa bridge must be chosen through a public tender, while the Autostrade per l'Italia company (ASPI), which was responsible for the motorway maintenance when the tragedy happened in 2018, cannot be allowed to retain this right, Franco Ravera, the president of the Quelli del Ponte Morandi association, told Sputnik.

The association unites those who lost their houses because of the collapse of the Morandi Bridge in August 2018. The incident killed 43 people and destroyed the homes of more than 600 residents. The ASPI has so far retained the concession and therefore was given temporary management of the new bridge, which is not operational yet. However, Premier Giuseppe Conte gave the company an ultimatum, saying it must present a proposal ensuring public interest, otherwise its concession would be revoked. An ASPI delegation met with the government on Thursday. The decision is expected to be made before Sunday.

"ASPI can only be temporarily admitted to the management, then politicians need to decide," Ravera said.

When asked how the new company should be chosen in his opinion, Ravera said that a public tender should be held so that the operator is obligated to take on the controls and maintenance of the entire network of highways, adding that "verifications by a third party (public, if possible) independent from the operator and not paid by him (as it was the case in the past with ASPI)" should also be carried out.

The issue of maintaining the new bridge has caused a major dispute in the governing coalition, with the anti-establishment Five Star Movement insisting on stripping the ASPI of the concession, and the Democratic Party calling for caution given the possibility of a multi-billion Dollar compensation claim against the state.

"We are especially concerned by the fact that the Morandi bridge, in addition to 43 victims, caused collateral damage which today has not been covered apart from a very limited coverage on the territory under [the bridge]," Ravera said.

The new Genoa Bridge was designed by famous Italian architect Renzo Piano and built in less than two years. It resembles a ship, fitting the cultural and historic heritage of the port city.