News & Events

Security of the existing infrastructural heritage

On April 10th between Liguria and Tuscany, the Albiano bridge that connects Albiano Magra to Santo Stefano Magra collapsed:

a bridge of about 300 meters, usually quite busy, collapsed on itself, involved two people in transit on their vehicles .

A tragic event that brings the issue of stability, durability and security of our infrastructural heritage to the fore; a question that certainly has the emergence of a precise and punctual response given that in Italy there are about one and a half million bridges of which only a part subject to constant monitoring.

Not only that, in our country there is also the problem of the competence of maintenance: from an investigation by the Corriere della Sera in 2019 it appears that there are about 1500 viaducts of which ownership and management is uncertain. In short, a rather complex situation.

Certainly there is that all the infrastructures are exposed to deterioration, a deterioration that can be contained through scheduled maintenance, adaptation and reinforcement interventions.

To this end, the Ministry of competence has also carried out the “Enhancement of existing infrastructure assets” project over the years, identifying the quality and efficiency of infrastructures and safety among the main objectives.There remains the need for a census that allows us to become aware of the maintenance works to be put in place and establish priorities for action to bring out the different levels of security and criticality.

These are exceptional events which, even in their exceptional nature, reveal the need for constant risk assessment and an effective method of inspection and maintenance.

Through a plan of preliminary visual investigations to identify the most evident defects and deteriorations and the dynamic structural characterization, adequate levels of knowledge could be reached for the planning of interventions or controls aimed at guaranteeing the safety of the infrastructures in order to avoid yet another tragedy already written in the Italian news pages.

Among the operational tools that professionals in the sector can use to conduct measurements and analyzes on the deterioration of the structure are accelerometers, ultrasonic tomography and digital radiography.

To conclude, the question of safety is closely connected both with the emergence of a census of the patrimony to be monitored and made more efficient, and with the effectiveness of the instrumentation with which professional technicians must be equipped in order to limit the risk to protect safety public.

Posted by:
Graziano Santilli
Sales Manager – Novatest S.r.l.

#ndt #nondestructivetesting #safety #infrastructure

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