For those who build complex infrastructures around the world the bridge is perhaps the most exciting work. It brings together things that are far apart, it joins what had been divided, it allows people to make a physical leap into the void that is equal to a leap forward in terms of development and progress.
All this would be enough to make a bridge an exceptional work in itself. However, in Genoa something more than that happened.
The collapse of Ponte Morandi on August 14, 2018, that caused the death of 43 people, opened up a wound in the city and across Italy, and added to the effort to rebuild a meaning and a value that were different from what they usually are.
Having accepted the challenge to complete the building of the new Genoa bridge in record time was a huge responsibility, that of beating every previous record to heal a deep wound, and to tell Genoa, Italy, and the whole world a different story than usual, a story of excellence, passion, competence, devotion to work. An example of what is known as made in Italy that is perhaps less famous, but equally recognized around the world: that of infrastructures.
Some have told this story as though it were a miracle, the kneejerk reaction of a country that only knows how to give its best when an emergency arises. But they are wrong. The new Genoa bridge is the natural result of a sum of professional skills that for over a century Webuild Group has been putting at the service of works built around the world. Most importantly, it represents the common yearning by all the parties involved to make a beautiful work, a quality work, a sustainable one, and to do so quickly. A Group that during the final phase of the building of the bridge, in May 2020, changed its name from Salini Impregilo to Webuild, bringing to fruition another great transformation in its growth process, while it was carrying forth a great project of transformation for all of Italy by building this bridge.
In Genoa the collaboration between all the parts was translated into an innovative management model, focused on the parallel organization of the various works. A fast-track approach that allowed the building site to grow and develop seamlessly, and to respect the deadlines set by the schedule. A well-oiled machine that was not even slowed down by the devastating impact that the Coronavirus has wreaked on productive activities.
This organizational capacity rests on the backs of the people involved. Engineers, technicians, workers, who over the course of the months put their private lives on hold in the name of a common good. At night, while the winter rain beat down on the Polcevera Valley, teams of specialized workers waited inside their trucks for the first signs of the sky to clear before resuming the pumping of the concrete that was needed to make the piers.
It is this dedication and commitment, expressed by the hundreds of people who in these months trod upon the mud of the building site, that breathed life into the projects and substantiated the promises that had been made. This is our greatest pride.
The team that made this enterprise possible.
This book, whose photographs illustrate the grandeur of the infrastructure and the stubborn determination of people, celebrates the work carried out by all those who put something personal aside to devote themselves to the success of such an ambitious project. No infrastructural work will ever heal the wound of lost lives, but the new Genoa bridge will be able to connect East and West, valleys and mountains, the places of a city that wants to rediscover its unity.
Building and rebuilding. This is our talent. The best expression of the desire to create major works, both in Italy and the rest of the world. We proved this with the new Panama Canal, the great African dams, the stadiums where World Cup matches are played, Europe’s most modern undergrounds, and the Australian hydroelectric power stations that generate clean energy.
Our building site is the world and the new Genoa bridge our flag.
Chief Executive Officer of Webuild