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Italy to reopen new Genoa bridge two years after fatal tragedy

Almost two years since Italy’s Genoa bridge collapsed, killing 43 people, a new structure opens in its place on Monday.

On August 14, 2018, the Morandi motorway bridge, named after the engineer who designed it, gave way during heavy rain, hurling dozens of cars and several trucks onto railway tracks below.

The replacement bridge, a high-tech structure with advanced safety mechanisms designed by famed Italian architect Renzo Piano, will be inaugurated on Monday by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

Families of the victims have refused to take part and will meet in nine days’ time to mark the tragedy’s second anniversary.

“Tomorrow, I will be in Genoa for the inauguration of the new bridge,” Conte wrote on his Facebook account on Sunday.

“From a wound that is slow to heal to the symbol of a new Italy which is recovering.”

President Sergio Mattarella will be the first to officially cross the new bridge.

The new bridge will not be open to traffic until Tuesday or Wednesday.

The tragedy laid bare the country’s crumbling infrastructure and gave rise to a bitter legal battle, which is still ongoing.

The Morandi was hailed a marvel of engineering when it opened in 1967, but an investigation into the disaster found it was neglected.

Autostrade, which runs almost half of Italy’s motorway network, has been accused of failing to maintain it properly, with allegations of falsified safety reports and in-house pressure to slash maintenance costs.

Atlantia, the parent group of Autostrade, is controlled by the wealthy Benetton family, which finally bowed to pressure last month to relinquish control of its besmirched toll-road operator, which will be nationalised.

Autostrade is under investigation, along with several transport ministry officials, for culpable homicide.