“Everyone will discover the light of this bridge,” he said. “The light of the Mediterranean.”
The San Giorgio bridge will have four maintenance robots running along its entire length to spot bad weather and wear, as well as a dehumidification system to limit corrosion in the humid and salty Mediterranean winds.
Minutes before the official speeches began on Monday, a long rainbow broke the clouds. An orchestra played the national anthem and jets dragging the green, white and red of the Italian flag roared in the sky.
The names of the victims were read aloud, but many of their relatives chose not to attend the inauguration, offended by plans to turn the occasion into a televised celebration of national pride. President Sergio Mattarella has spoken privately with a number of them.
“They planned a carnival, showing terribly bad taste and no idea what we’re going through yet,” said Egle Possetti, whose sister died in the disaster, along with her husband and two children. They were on their way to the beach.
“We wanted a sober ceremony,” she said.
Tragedy is still very much in the minds of the Genoese who remember being stranded in traffic on the Morandi Bridge, often with a sense of precariousness, as well as seemingly endless repair work.
A few days after the tragedy, Daniela Cerruti, a doctor, remembers crossing the bridge in heavy traffic the night before it fell. Like many people in town, she couldn’t shake the idea that she might have been on it when she gave in.
“No one can forget,” she said.