“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 length to spot weathering and wear, as well as a dehumidifying system to limit corrosion in the damp, 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 trailing the green, white and red of the Italian flag roared across the sky.
The names of the victims were read aloud, but many of their relatives chose not to attend the inauguration, offended by the plans to turn the occasion into a televised celebration of national pride. President Sergio Mattarella met privately with a number of them.
“They planned a carnival, showing terribly bad taste and no idea of what we are still going through,” 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.
The tragedy is still very present in the minds of Genoese people who recall being stuck in traffic on the Morandi bridge, often with a feeling of precariousness, as well as the seemingly endless repair work on it.
Days after the tragedy, Daniela Cerruti, a doctor, recalled driving across the bridge in heavy traffic the night before it fell. Like many people in the city, she could not shake the thought that she could have been on it when it gave way.
“None can forget,” she said.