The company that rebuilt the Genoa bridge offered to do the same for Baltimore

The company that rebuilt the Genoa bridge offered to do the same for Baltimore

The Italian company that helped rebuild a bridge that collapsed in Genoa in 2018 said it is ready to do the same in Baltimore.

The WeBuild Group said in a press release today that it has submitted preliminary designs and plans to US officials for the reconstruction of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, which collapsed in late March after a cargo ship hit one of its piers. Six construction workers died in the accident.

The company, which has a subsidiary in the United States, said the proposed design would result in a safer bridge by widening the channel through which ships can pass, among other measures.

The design will help avoid “the risk of tragedies like the one on March 26 happening again,” Carlo Ratti, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who helped develop the proposal, said in a press release.

The Morandi Bridge in the Italian port city of Genoa collapsed in August 2018 after heavy rain, killing 43 people.

When one of its main pillars collapsed in the middle of the morning, it brought a 600-foot (183-meter) section of road down onto the railroad tracks and buildings below, displacing hundreds of people.

The WeBuild Group is among the companies that built the Genoa San Giorgio bridge in just 15 months to replace the Morandi bridge. The project, to be completed in 2020, will cost a total of €290 million ($312 million), including the cost of demolishing the remains of the collapsed bridge.

The Maryland Transportation Authority expects to issue a formal invitation for proposals to rebuild the bridge by the end of May.

The MDTA is responsible for funding revenue-generating transportation projects in the state, according to its Facebook page.

Expensive reconstruction
The Baltimore Bridge, also known as the Main Bridge, is an important conduit for traffic leading to the Port of Baltimore, a major hub for the import and export of commodities, vehicles and other goods. A total of 35,000 cars and trucks use it every day.

Its collapse in March temporarily shut down most port operations, although four temporary channels were reopened, allowing some vessel traffic to resume.

After the disaster, President Joe Biden pledged the full support of the federal government in the recovery effort.

“I have ordered my team to move heaven and earth to reopen the port and rebuild the bridge as quickly as possible,” Biden said, pledging that the federal government “will pay the entire cost of rebuilding the bridge.”

The MDTA estimates that rebuilding the Main Bridge will cost between $1.7 billion and $1.9 billion and expects the reconstruction to be completed by the fall of 2028, the Maryland Department of Transportation confirmed to CNN Friday.

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