Ponte Morandi, hearing for the collapse between farce and tragedy: “We monitored the bridge from the hill, with binoculars”

Ponte Morandi, hearing for the collapse between farce and tragedy: “We monitored the bridge from the hill, with binoculars”

For the Prosecutor’s Office this is something absolutely inadequate. Purely ridiculous. For Marco Vezil, Genoese defendant in the trial on the collapse of Morandi bridge, anything but. In any case, this is how things went: the Spea technicians carried out checks on some tie rods of the viaduct «first with binoculars, after 2017 with cameras that I had purchased. The inspectors who drew up the quarterly inspections went to the Granarolo hill and from there they could see or photograph the antennas.”

Vezil specified that «the “Zeiss” binoculars they allowed you to see everything in detail. While the cameras were also able to immortalise the porosity of the materials filmed.” In short, for the former manager of Spea, the company responsible for monitoring the network on behalf of Autostrade, the state of health could be ascertained without problems. And as regards the “faces” of the stays (the collapse occurred due to the collapse of the south-east side of pier 9) not visible from Granarolo, “inspections were carried out from the road below”. For the rest Spea – we always talk about before and shortly after the collapse – he could count on three «means by-bridge for the entire national network and two self-platforms of approximately 10 metres”.

In addition to the passage on visual inspections, the public prosecutor Maximum Terriland touched on other crucial points of the investigation, including the one that cost Vezil his dismissal: «In January 2020 Spea informed me that I would no longer work because the technicians had not entered the “caissons” of the Veilino and Bisagno viaducts». The issue of the caissons (cavities under the street level, in the deck) which have never been visited since 2014 for reasons related to work safety is also common to the Polcevera viaduct, but for Vezil «they could also be looked at without entering, looking out with a gopro and a adequate lighting”.

But Vezil is also Spea’s manager who, without even being able to imagine it, provided the Financial Police and the Prosecutor’s Office with what could be defined as “preventive interceptions”: that is, the recordings of meetings with Aspi, in which the figure of Michele Donferri Mitelli, the former very powerful number three of Aspi heard last week in the courtroom. During his three days of examination, he lashed out several times against Vezil, judging him to be “in bad faith”, and essentially ready to set traps for his interlocutor during operational meetings with Autostrade.

Vezil motivated the choice to record by explaining that «it was my manager Antonino Galatà (former CEO of Spea, ed) to tell me to record meetings with Donferri, because he continued to insult him and other Spea colleagues. She told me that this way we could then take legal action against him. It had already happened that Donferri had called Bernardini “brain-damaged”, who in fact left”.

But beyond what appeared to be a battle between the two sister companies, the hearing touched on debated issues and at the center of clashes between the prosecution and defense right from the start of the trial. For example, regarding the works decided in the 90s, with the reinforcement of the stays of pile 11 and what the prosecutor Massimo Terrile has always defined as “a coat of paint” on pile 9: «It wasn’t a coat of paint – he countered Vezil – but the deteriorated concrete of the piles was tested, then the mortar was placed and then the waterproofing».

So for him, when the work was finished, “like Spea we delivered a work that was new”. An expression that left the prosecutor stunned, but fully confirmed by Vezil: «From Spea’s point of view on the outside, and therefore as far as we were concerned, it was as good as new».

Also because, the former manager also explained, “there were no external lesions on the stays of the bridge which justified other interventions such as the one on 11. After the intervention in the 1990s we had had no signs of instability”.

As regards the reflectometric tests, Vezil said he “had never read them”. As for the relationships to change, the engineer explained that «none of us without seeing de visu the work could afford to vary the judgment of those who carried out the inspection”.


This news article has been translated from the original language to English by WorldsNewsNow.com.

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