Thursday, October 27, 2005

Bad Concrete?!!?

Yes it could be true. Last weekend we had one heckva’ storm here. It was our own little hurricane just north of me. They had a year’s worth of rain in 3 hours in Fasano (it wasn’t that bad here in Brindisi, but close)!! So, it wasn’t a hurricane but 7 people died when a bridge collapsed up there and the cars fell into a “temporary” river. There are no real rivers in Puglia (it’s that dry). Also a train derailed as one of the concrete storm drains was “weakened” by the rain and then collapsed when a train went over it. All this has lead to 2 investigations, according to the Brindisi Quotidiano, about the quality of the concrete used to make these structures and how they were built. While this was a really bad storm the bridge and the storm drain should not have "disappeared". You look at the photos in the paper and there is nothing left in either case. The entire bridge is gone and in other case there are only train tracks and railroad ties with nothing below it. You have to ask how was it anchored and made. I’ve seen some amazing pictures of rivers right up to bottom of a bridge and they hang on. My engineering side says this shouldn’t have happened. It will be interesting to hear updates on this. Other then that I won’t make any comments on concrete in Southern Italy. Well, except to say that the longest span suspension bridge is due to start next year to link Sicily to the Italian toe. Two areas where the mafia is…influential!!!

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