Italy: New Genoa bridge to be built by April

Grieving relatives and dignitaries on Wednesday remembered the 43 lives lost when the Morandi bridge in the Italian port city of Genoa collapsed one year ago.

A solemn mass and ceremony were held in a warehouse near the place where a large section of the 1.2-km (1,100-yard) motorway viaduct collapsed, sending vehicles onto railway tracks below.

The president, prime minister and other political leaders were in attendance, putting aside their political bickering back in Rome to support relatives of the victims.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte vowed to complete a new bridge in Genoa by April, despite worries that Italy's political crisis sparked by far-right leader Matteo Salvini could slow down construction.

Construction is being carried out "seven days out of seven ... and, according to forecasts, the new bridge will be accessible by April 2020," Conte said.

"We feel that the new bridge will represent a symbol of rebirth," Conte said.

Genoese architect Renzo Piano told the newspaper La Repubblica that he plans to build a luminous white bridge that will represent "three ships that rise to the sky and unite to form a single structure more than a kilometer long."

A year later, the cause of 51-year-old structure's collapse has not been determined.

Prosecutors are investigating company officials from Atlantia for poor maintenance and possible design flaws. The infrastructure group denies any wrongdoing.

Atlantia executives planned to attend Wednesday's ceremony but were asked to leave by the victims' relatives.

cw/aw (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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