According to the experts, the Italian bridges to be overhauled are about 10 thousand. In these cases the alarm is due to two factors: the age of the work that exceeds 50 years and the traffic it must sustain. “Unfortunately – warns the director of the institute of technologies for the construction of the Cnr, Antonio Occhiuzzi – the legislation that introduces the degree of structural safety is only in 2008”.
The Single Convention, signed on October 12, 2007 and effective from June 8, 2008 until December 2038, is the document that regulates the relationship between the Ministry of Transport that grants the motorway network to Autostrade per l’Italia. This document allows to establish the rights and duties of the parties.
Rights and duties
Autostrade has to deal with the technical management of infrastructures and the maintenance of functionality through timely maintenance and repair, to carry out the interventions envisaged by the agreement (the upgrading investments, which currently amount to € 21 billion), to organize and maintain a roadside assistance, to communicate the schedule of all ordinary and extraordinary maintenance projects, and finally to transfer the motorways in good condition at the expiry of the concession. And if you do not respect the obligations? As the former Minister of Transport Maurizio Lupi in a Senate hearing recalled, while before 2006 there was an inadequate sanctioning system, the reform law of the highway sector n.286 / 2006 provided for “a complex mechanism of sanctions and penalties intermediate, referring to the most important aspects of the concession relationship “.
To deal with compliance with the rules, there is a Directorate for the supervision of motorway concessionaires at the ministry.
With regard to sanctions, however, the fines range from € 25 thousand to € 150 million depending on defaults.
In conclusion, this is what happens in our country: Italy has about 6500 km of highways on its territory. Most of these are a public good, owned by the State, but given in concession to companies that manage and administer them, collecting their profits in exchange for a fee to the State. Among these companies, called “concessionaires”, Autostrade per l’Italia is responsible for the section that includes the Morandi bridge, which collapsed on August 14 in Genoa, and is also among the largest.
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