Popular Science

Deadly collapse in Italy turns spotlight onto aging bridges around the world

Nearly 10 percent of U.S. bridges are considered structurally deficient.
picture of collapsed bridge. Gray cloudy sky, workers searching through rubble

Rescuers work to search for survivors after a section of the Morandi motorway bridge collapsed earlier on August 14, 2018 in Genoa, Italy.

Since the 1960s the Morandi bridge in Genoa, Italy arced high over railway tracks, nearby buildings and the Polcevera river, stretching across a span of 3,615 feet (0.68 miles) carrying cars and trucks along a major toll road nearly 150 feet above the ground.

On Tuesday, a massive segment (estimated at 262-feet long) of the bridge collapsed suddenly, sending steel, concrete, cars and trucks hurtling to the ground in what Italy’s Transportation Minister called an “immense tragedy” that left dozens dead.

The bridge collapsed in the that they had seen lightning hit the bridge before the collapse. The exact cause is still unknown, but the that Deputy Transportation minister Edoardo Rixi said the bridge had shown “signs of problems” in the past.

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