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Completion of Genoa bridge shows 'Italy will not allow itself to be beaten', says PM Giuseppe Conte

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The remainder of the bridge was demolished last year following a deadly partial collapse
The remainder of the bridge was demolished last year following a deadly partial collapse   -   Copyright  Antonio Calanni/Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
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Work to rebuild the new Genoa bridge has been completed almost two years after its partial collapse sent dozens of people falling to their deaths.

A siren sounded on Tuesday morning as the final piece was pulled into place - a welcome noise of success in a coronavirus-stricken Italy - and was met with horns from boats in the city's nearby ports.

Marking the historic moment, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said it was not a time of celebration, but one where "a new light shines on Italy."

He said the bridge, which connects the Morandi highway "symbolises the whole of Italy," and added: "An Italy that can rise up again, that will roll up its sleeves, that will not allow itself to be beaten."

A total of 43 people were killed when the bridge collapsed during heavy rainfall in August 2018, with vehicles plummeting into the valley below.

Autostrade, which runs much of the country's motorway network, is now under judicial review with several transport ministry officials for culpable homicide.

It is accused of failing to carry out adequate maintenance on the bridge, while also falsifying safety reports.

Building the new bridge

Designing its replacement, Italian architect Renzo Piano ensured there would be robots to scale the length of the bridge to monitor any possible erosion to the structure.

It is also shaped with a curved bottom to represent the hull of a boat - an iconic feature of the coastal port city.

Pietro Salini, chief executive of construction company Salini Impregilo, told journalists last week that buildings works, which have continued during the pandemic, have faced a number of issues, including time and bad weather.

He said: "While the rest of the country was wondering how to shut down, here the question was how to go on."

According to Salini, the new bridge could open for use by July.