The collapse of the Genoa Bridge, on August 14, 2018, brought greater interest towards the works designed by the historically reknowned Italian engineer: Riccardo Morandi.
Besides designing large infrastructure, during his career, he also studied prestressed reinforced concrete, in detail. In 1948, his research allowed him to obtain the patent for his prestressed system, Morandi M5.
Straight after the war, when Italy was undergoing reconstruction - due to a series of characteristics that guaranteed an economic advantage - this material was considered strategic for building large infrastructure. Morandi greatly appreciated this material, and sponsored its functional "form-function" ratio that aimed at reaching the best possible result, using new technical solutions and new spatial structures.
Moreover, the prestressed technique allowed working upon reduced sections compared to the ones with non-prestressed reinforced concrete, highlighting the work's shape and silhouette.
Let's discover which bridges were designed by Riccardo Morandi, both in Italy and the rest of the world, and their locations.
Morandi's Bridges in Italy
Numerous infrastructure works were designed by the Italian engineer, and built between the 60's and 70's. Morandi's Bridges in Italy were built in Calabria, Sicily, Lazio, Tuscany, Basilicata, Campania, Abruzzo, Puglia and Piedmont.
Amerigo Vespucci Bridge, Florence
It's a cantilever bridge, built between 1955 and 1957. It was named after Amerigo Vespucci because in that period his 500th anniversary was being celebrated. The project is the fruit of the work of Architects Giorgio Giuseppe Gori, Enzo Gori and Ernesto Nelli who, together with Riccardo Morandi, designed a non-invasive work, capable of blending in with the surroundings. The bridge is 22.50 metres wide and 9.50 metres tall. It has three spans, each measuring 54.30 metres.
Bisantis Viaduct, Catanzaro
This arch bridge was built between 1959 and 1962. It serves both pedestrians and vehicles. It features a one arched structure - without central sustaining piers - and it is made with reinforced concrete. The bridge is 468.25 metres long, 12.5 metres wide and 112 metres tall.
Vagli Sotto Bridge, Lucca
The Vagli di Sotto bridge is a 122-metre-long footbridge in Garfagnana, designed by Morandi, in 1953. The structure includes an arch and three rocker bearings with two crutch frames on each side. The bridge crosses the artificial basin in which the Lussia and Edron (affluents of the Serchio river) torrents flow, connecting Vagli di Sotto with the territory on the opposite riverbank. The height measures 70 metres, while the width of the deck - made fron prestressed reinforced concrete is 3.50 m.
Carpineto Viaduct, Vietri di Potenza
The viaduct designed by Morandi and built in 1977 follows the "Sicignano-Potenza" motorway route at Vietri di Potenza. It is made of two parallel cable-stayed bridges for the two carriageways, with piers in steel and prestressed reinforced concrete. The viaduct underwent the necessary maintenance, i.e. works to restore the concrete.
San Niccolò Bridge, Florence
Riccardo Morandi designed the reconstruction project of the second bridge in Florence. The San Nicolò bridge was built in 1836 but was destroyed by the Germans during their retreat. Immediately after the Second World War, it was built according to the project designed by the Italian designer, who created the arched reinforced concrete structure.
Akragas Viaduct, Agrigento
More often than not known as the "Morandi Viaduct", the Akragas bridge is located in Agrigento. It was built in 1970. The viaduct is 1,402 metres long in the first tract, while the second measures 868 metres. It is currently closed to traffic due to maintenance works and for safety improvement related reasons. These activities should end in 2021.
Costanzo Bridge – Ragusa
It's Sicily's tallest bridge: the Costanzo bridge connects Ragusa to Modica. Like others, this bridge was also designed by Riccardo Morandi and built between 1975 and 1984. It is 956 metres long and 168 tall. It includes a set of concrete pillars and transverse steel spans.
Ansa del Tevere Viaduct, Rome
The suspended cable-stayed bridge - the only one in Rome with a curved carriageway - is also one of Morandi's works. Located in the Magliana neighbourhood, it's 145 metres long with a 24 metre wide carriadgeway. It is part of the A91 Rome-Fiumicino motorway. The bridge is made of reinforced concrete, while its deck is made with prestressed concrete. It was built between 1965 and 1967.
Morandi's Bridges in the World
Many of Morandi's bridges can also be found abroad. Some of these, are still operating, others have been closed. Here's a short summary.
Paul Sauer Bridge, Cape Town – South Africa
The Storms River Bridge is a 120-metre-tall arch bridge. It was built between 1953 and 1956. It's thought of as the twin bridge o fthe Bisantis viaduct, which is in Catanzaro, as its shape, although smaller, are similar to its larger Italian brother's.
General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge, Maracaibo – Venezuela
The story of this bridge that crosses the Maracaibo lake is linked to the unfortunate events that occurred in 1964 when, an Esso oil-tanker collided against the bridge's piers, causing part of the structure to collapse. The General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge is considered to be the twin-brother (so to speak) of Genoa's Morandi Bridge. This was also built with prestressed reinforced concrete between 1958 and 1962. It connected the city to the rest of Venezuela more rapidly. This cable stayed bridge extends for 8,678 metres, from coast to coast, and it's used only for vehicle mobility.
Wadi al-Kuf, Beida – Libya
It was completed between 1967 and 1971. All its structural parts are made of prestressed reinforced concrete. The Wadi al-Kuf bridge includes two "A" shaped antennas that rise 57.3 above the road. It underwent renovation works from 1996 to 2000 due to landslides.
Pumarejo Bridge, Barranquilla – Colombia
This cable-stayed bridge, officially dedicated to Colobia President Laureano Gómez Castro It crosses the Magdalena Bridge, it's 1,536 metres long, 12.5 metres wide and 16 metres tall. It will be replaced by a new bridge (whose last construction phase is expected to end in December 2019) and will then be demolished.
The following list includes all of Riccardo Morandi's bridges, in chronological order:
- 1945 – San Giorgio Bridge on the Liri River, Frosinone
- 1949 - San Niccolò Bridge, Florence
- 1949 – Girder Bridge on the Elsa River, Canneto
- 1949/50 – “Grillo” Bridge on the Tevere, Rome
- 1952 – Giunture Bridge on the Liri River, Sant’Apollinare, Frosinone
- 1952 – Bridge on the Arno River between Empoli and Spicchio di Vinci (inaugurated in 1954)
- 1952/54 – Vagli di Sotto Bridge in "Alta Garfagnana", Lucca
- 1953 – Bridge on the Liri River at Sora, Frosinone
- 1954 – “Gornalunga” Bridge, Enna
- 1954 – Bridge on the Cerami River, Galliano Castelferrato, Enna
- 1955 – Saint Nicholas Bridge, Benevento
- 1954/56 – Amerigo Vespucci Bridge on the Arno River, Florence
- 1957 – Bridge on the navigable channel of Fiumicino on the Ostia-Fiumicino road, Rome
- 1957 – Bridge on the Sambro River for the Florence-Bologna Motorway
- 1957 – Viaduct on the Setta River at the “La Quercia”, Bologna, towards the Florence-Bologna Motorway
- 1958/60 – Overpass of via Olimpica on the Corso di Francia, Rome
- 1958/61 – Viaduct on the Fiumarella river, Catanzaro
- 1960/62 – “Giuseppe Capograssi” Bridge, Sulmona, L’Aquila,
- 1960/64 – Viaduct on the Polcevera river
- 1962/64 – Lake Paola Bridge, Sabaudia, Latina
- 1963/67 - Ansa del Tevere Viaduct, Rome
- 1965/66 – Viaduct on the Favazzina near Scilla, Reggio Calabria
- 1966/68 – Scirò Viaduct for the Salerno-Reggio Calabria Motorway
- 1967 – Scirò Viaduct for the Salerno-Reggio Calabria Motorway
- 1968 – Bridge on the Salso river at Licata, Agrigento
- 1970 - Akragas Viaduct, Agrigento
- 1970/72 – Viaduct on the Costa Viola at Scilla on the Salerno-Reggio Calabria Motorway
- 1971 – Taranto Bridge on the Mar Piccolo
- 1971/74 – Carpineto Viaduct for the Basentana freeway at Vietri, Potenza
- 1973/76 – San Francesco Viaduct for Garganica road, Foggia
- 1973/77 – Costanzo Bridge on the Irminio River at Ragusa for the Italian State Road 115 "Sud Occidentale Sicula" (with A. Petruzzi)
- 1979/80 – Bridge on the "Vallone Cardinale", Siracusa
- 1984 – Stronetta Viaduct for the Dei Trafori Motorway, Carpugnino-Feriolo tract, Stresa
- 1986/88 – Rotaro Viaduct near Lauria, Potenza