The New Genoa Bridge Italy

Italy - New Genoa Bridge.jpeg
Italy - New Genoa Bridge.jpeg


  • Built in the ‘60s, the Polcevera Bridge (also called the Morandi Bridge by its designer) was considered both a modern monument to the city of Genoa and a symbol of Italian engineering. It was one of the most crucial hubs of the country’s highway network and formed part of the E80 road link from Italy to France. 
  • The old bridge traversed the Polcevera River as part of the A10 autoroute, a critical part of European route E80 that links Italy and France. The 210 meter main span of the 1.2 kilometer cable-stayed bridge is the one that failed on that fateful day in 2018.
  • The abrupt collapse of the bridge in the summer of 2018 caused widespread community dismay, with 43 people killed, and resulted in a rift between the western and the eastern parts of Genoa with enormous disruption to traffic[1]. The precise causes of the collapse and culpability remain uncertain[2].
  • The project to replace the bridge was highly successful and has been considered by some to be “a “model” of effective project management” that could be used as a way of accelerating the delivery of other infrastructure works, with the construction contract awarded to PERGENOVA S.C.p.A. just several months after the incident.[3] 
  • This case study explores the fast-paced delivery of the reconstruction of the bridge which was viewed as a national challenge and imperative. Resources exploring lessons learnt from the collapse itself can be found in Further References.


  • Genoa forms the southern corner of the Milan-Turin-Genoa industrial triangle of north-west Italy and is one of the country's major economic centres. Rapid construction of a new bridge was of national importance. 
  • The abrupt collapse of the bridge created an east-west rift within Genoa costing an estimated loss of EUR 6 million per day (USD 7 million)[4].


  • Its strategic importance coupled with the tragedy of the collapse formed a catalyst for rebuilding of the bridge to be undertaken in the shortest possible time by “cutting through the red tape” that traditionally slows the execution of similar large infrastructure projects.
  • The accelerated delivery of the New Genoa Bridge was enabled by an Italian Law referred to as the “Genoa Decree” which refers to EU directive (2014/24/EU) to allow approvals to be gained and procurement undertaken in the shortest possible time.
  • To facilitate this acceleration, the time taken to gain project approvals and execute contracts was reduced to approximately 1/3 of typical time taken. For example, construction contracts were executed in December 2018, only one month after their award in November 2018.
  • To accelerate delivery, many processes were undertaken in parallel. For example, site planning was developed during the execution of the works, and procurement for construction contracts undertaken while technical designs were being developed.
  • The project was delivered in a highly collaborative manner where frequent meetings were held between parties to ensure frequent opportunities for communication and decision making, enabling the resolution of any challenges in a timely manner and before a delay to the delivery programme is caused.


  • Lead agency: Struttura Commisariale per la Riscostruzione del viadotto Polcevera dell’autostrada A10
  • Main Contractor [Design & Build]: Webuild, (formerly Salini Impregilo) and Fincantieri formed the PerGenova joint venture. 
  • Programme and Project Managers: RINA Consulting
  • Engineering Designer (incl. Digital Twin) – Italferr 
  • Architect – Renzo-Piano
  • Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport 
  • Concession operator Autostrade per l’Italia (Aspi). Through the Genoa decree they were not involved in the reconstruction of the bridge. Court battles continued with the Italian Government on the selling of their concession to state owned operator Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, this was passed in July 2020.


  • 14 August 2018 – Collapse of Genoa Bridge
  • August 2018 – Genoa Decree passed in law, with Extraordinary Reconstruction Commissioner appointed
  • 15 December 2018 – Demolition of remaining parts of the old bridge commenced[5].
  • 18 December 2018 – Architect Renzo Piano was appointed to design the new bridge, with Italferr chosen as the engineering designers. [6] Main contractor JV of WeBuild and Fincantieri were appointed. RINA appointed as programme managers responsible for the supervision of demolition and construction.
  • 6 April 2019 – Execution of the first pole for the pile number 6 
  • 25 June 2019 – first stone was officially laid with the casting of the base of pile 9
  • 6 June 2020 – casting of concrete slab (completed in ten days)
  • 3 August 2020 – Inauguration of the New Genoa Bridge

Results / impact

  • The unique legislative structure that governed delivery of the bride in addition to the highly collaborative approach adopted by the client, contractors, designers, project managers, and broader supply-chain resulted in a significantly accelerated delivery, with the entire development process from planning to handover taking place in less than 15 months.

Key lessons learnt

  • Entrenched planning and development regimes and norms can be set aside when there is buy-in from the political level, industry, and the general public to deliver large infrastructure projects on a highly accelerated timeline and while still achieving positive outcomes.
  • Clear governance and reporting structures, the clear alignment of objectives, and a project-wide buy-in to collaborative working across client, contractors, designers, project managers, and supply-chain can lead to fewer disputes.
Last Updated: 17 October 2021