Genoa mayor says new bridge to be built by Christmas 2019

A view of the opening of the construction sites for the demolition of the collapsed Morandi highway bridge in Genoa, northern Italy, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018. Genoa's mayor is promising his city will have a new bridge by Christmas 2019 to replace the one that collapsed, killing 43 people. (Luca Zennaro/ANSa via AP)

ROME — Genoa's mayor is promising that his city will have a new bridge by Christmas 2019 to replace the one that collapsed in the summer, killing 43 people.

Mayor Marco Bucci on Saturday inaugurated a site that will demolish the pillars and parts of the span that remained standing when much of the Morandi Bridge's roadbed gave way on Aug. 14, sending dozens of vehicles plunging into a dry riverbed.

Bucci said demolition will begin after a final approval expected in the coming days from Italian prosecutors investigating the collapse. Poor maintenance or engineering flaws have been cited as possible causes.

The mayor said demolition should finish by March 31. He declined to say which construction company will build the major highway bridge. Renowned Genoa native Renzo Piano was among the architects submitting plans.

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