The FABRE Conference on “Existing bridges, viaducts and tunnels: research, innovation and applications”

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The conference “Existing bridges, viaducts and tunnels: research, innovation and applications”, organized by FABRE – Research Consortium for the evaluation and monitoring of bridges, viaducts and other structures – in collaboration with the Foundation of National Council of Engineers, the Ingenio magazine and the Porto Antico of Genoa, ended on 15 February. Following the opening, in which the Mayor of the Metropolitan City of Genoa Marco Bucci and the Deputy Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Edoardo Rixi spoke, the Conference included a broad program of interventions by scholars, technicians and designers at an international level.

This is one of the first and most important opportunities for discussion on the problems concerning the monitoring and control of road and railway infrastructures which constitute the irreplaceable connective network of the economic and social activities of our country. Extremely current issues, if we consider that a large part of the road network in use today was designed and built in the decades following the Second World War, relying on limited knowledge and based on traffic flows of a significantly different entity compared to today’s. Added to this are the obsolescence of the works, the poor state of maintenance, the degradation of the materials, the consequences of construction deficiencies and defects, the effects of natural actions, often of an exceptional nature following the effects of climate change.

According to Walter Salvatore, Professor at the University of Pisa and President of the FABRE Consortium, “for these reasons it is urgent to proceed with a complete reconnaissance of the state of conservation of the works and the risks connected to them, in order to be able to plan rational actions to mitigate the risks and organize effective management of the works thanks also to the development of new technologies, also based on the use of AI, and modern survey and monitoring systems.”

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