Infrastructures: the Fabre Consortium for the safety of bridges and viaducts is born

The technical-scientific alliance for the safety of bridges and viaducts in Italy is born. A few days after the inauguration of the new viaduct over the Polcevera in Genoa, ENEA, the Polytechnics of Turin and Milan and the Universities of Pisa, Padua, Perugia, Camerino, Messina, Sapienza of Rome and Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli” have created the Consorzio Fabre, which will deploy the most qualified experts and the most advanced technologies to monitor and evaluate the state of health of our country’s road infrastructures and to promote and coordinate activities concerning the classification of structural and environmental risk. In particular, the consortium members will evaluate the various risks (static, foundational, seismic and hydrogeological) and will promote the verification, control and monitoring of the infrastructures, as well as the development and use of innovative techniques in the repair and improvement of bridges, viaducts and other existing structures.

“The name ‘Fabre’ indicates that the safety issue must be addressed ‘ingenious’, both in the design phase of the new structures, for which we have all the knowledge and tools to operate well, and in the evaluation and monitoring of the existing ones with advanced technological systems. In this way we will be able to identify the state of health of the road works and, where possible, intervene before any damage reaches such a serious degree as to make restoration very expensive or even impossible”, explains Paolo Clemente, research manager ENEA, which represented the Agency at the consortium signing ceremony at the University of Pisa.

“Like people, infrastructures also need scheduled check-ups, especially if we take into account that a large part of the Italian road heritage is over 50 years old. The Fabre consortium will be able to coordinate and make the most of the skills present in Italian universities and research centers and transfer the results of scientific and technological research to the public and private bodies that manage these infrastructures and to the professional communities, with the primary objective of prevention ”, adds Clemente.

ENEA will also make use of the engineering and IT skills and technologies of, the first center in Italy and Europe for the protection of strategic infrastructures, born from the collaboration of the Agency with the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) . will provide cutting-edge technological tools (sensor networks, multi-hazard risk analysis and weather-climate forecasting systems) and advanced services (territorial databases, satellite data analysis, simulations of natural events and their impacts on services and infrastructure stress tests) to monitor critical road infrastructures, such as bridges and viaducts, and improve their resilience, i.e. the ability to withstand extreme loads and events and to quickly return to normal operating conditions. But not only. “ENEA, which has joined the Fabre consortium thanks to the strong commitment of President Federico Testa, will also make available a research infrastructure that is unique in Italy, such as vibrating tables, essential for experimenting with new technologies in the field of structural engineering”, he continues Clement.

“The collapse of the Morandi bridge attracted media attention and greatly shook public opinion, due to the high number of victims and the importance of the work. But unfortunately it was not an isolated event. We recall, among many others, the recent collapse of the bridge over the Magra river in Albiano, in the province of Massa Carrara, on 9 April last”, concludes Clemente.

Link to press release