The New York Times » Long before the Morandi Bridge collapsed in Genoa, Italy, last year, killing 43 people, an economics professor named Marco Ponti took aim at the private company that managed the structure, raising two fundamental concerns. One was money. Mr. Ponti argued that Autostrade per l’Italia, or Highways for Italy, which managed the bridge and more than half of Italy’s 4,000 miles of toll roads, made “abnormal” profits. The other was the lopsided power balance between Autostrade and the Italian government. Mr. Ponti, who served on an expert panel advising the government, said ministries did too little to regulate the company. Taxpayers were being shorn “like flocks of sheep,” Mr. Ponti said in a newspaper interview in 2003.
Reuters » Italy’s Autostrade, the operator of the bridge that collapsed last month in the port city of Genoa killing 43 people, rejected on Tuesday the findings of a ministerial inquiry that blamed the toll road firm for the disaster. Autostrade said the report did not clarify the causes of the collapse or how it happened.
Associated Press » Government officials learned months ago that corrosion of the metal cables supporting the Genoa highway bridge had reduced its strength by 20 percent before it collapsed last week, according to media reports, but they did not “consider it necessary to limit traffic, divert heavy trucks, reduce the roadway from two lanes to one, or reduce the speed” of vehicles on the key artery for the port city.
Was mafia concrete to blame? Investigators could probe whether Genoa bridge collapse was linked to dodgy firms ‘charging full price and putting less cement in’
The Daily Mail » The Genoa bridge collapse which has claimed the lives of at least 39 people may have been an accident waiting to happen after ‘mafia’ companies were involved in its construction, it has been claimed. For decades, ‘families’ as mafia groups are often known, are believed to have blackmailed, conned and forced their way into big building contracts. Engineers have now claimed the same thing may have happened when the Morandi Viaduct in Genoa was built between 1963 and 1967.
The Guardian » Furious ministers from Italy’s coalition government have rounded on the private company that manages the country’s motorways, as authorities struggled to quell growing anger over the bridge collapse in Genoa on Tuesday that killed 39 people. The tragedy has focused anger on the structural problems that have dogged the decades-old Morandi bridge, and on Autostrade per l’Italia, the company in charge of operating and maintaining swathes of the country’s motorways.