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Genoa to have a new bridge ‘for Christmas' next year, says mayor

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Genoa to have a new bridge ‘for Christmas' next year, says mayor
The collapsed Morandi Bridge in Genoa. Photo: Valery Hache/AFP
10:11 CET+01:00
Genoa will have a new bridge within a year, its mayor said on Saturday, as the Italian city prepared to start demolition work on the remains of the bridge that collapsed in August killing more than 40 people.

"The objective is to take the demolition far enough so that construction work can begin," Marco Bucci said.

"The objective is to start construction work on March 31 which will allow us to have a bridge for Christmas."

A section of a viaduct on the A10 motorway collapsed in Genoa in August without warning, causing a 200-metre long piece of the Morandi bridge to fall away.

Cars and trucks fell with the rubble. Forty-three people died in the accident and dozens were injured.

The bridge's reconstruction was crucial not just for Genoa and its region, "but for all of northern Italy and I daresay for France and Switzerland", Bucci said.

READ ALSO: 'Thousands of Italian bridges will be in crisis in the next 20 years'

Governor of Liguria Giovanni Toti has previously said that the demolition work would take around 30 days.

But the demolition has been repeatedly delayed. Investigators called for the urgent demolition of the bridge's remains in August, warning that supports were weakening and at high risk of collapse.

It was initially hoped that the bridge could be demolished by the end of September, and the mayor then announced the work would begin this month.

Investigators called for the urgent demolition of the bridge's remains in August, warning that supports were weakening and at high risk of collapse.

For now, the site of the disaster is still closed off because it is considered evidence in an ongoing investigation into who's to blame for the bridge's collapse.

The cost of the demolition work and clearance of the site is estimated at 19 million euros ($21.5 million), authorities said on Friday.

A consortium of five Italian companies is lined up for the work, which still needs to be approved by a judge.

A court hearing is scheduled for today.

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