ROME, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- A consortium led by Italian infrastructure giant Salini Impregilo will rebuild the Morandi Bridge based on a design by starchitect Renzo Piano, Genoa Mayor Marco Bucci announced Tuesday.
The Morandi Bridge, a vital piece of infrastructure built in the 1960s that linked Genoa's busy industrial port with the rest of the city, the region and Europe, collapsed suddenly on August 14, killing 43 people.
Bucci, who also serves as bridge reconstruction commissioner, chose the Salini Impregilo bid over that of Italy's Cimolai, who specialize in metal bridges and other infrastructure, with a design from Spanish starchitect Santiago Calatrava.
The consortium is slated to start building on February 1 and aims to complete the new bridge by December 2019, Bucci explained in a decree published online.
The new bridge will be in steel upheld by concrete piles and will cost 202 million euros (almost 230 million U.S. dollars), Bucci wrote.
Salini Impregilo will rebuild the bridge along with Fincantieri shipbuilder and Italferr, a subsidiary of Ferrovie dello Stato public railways company, based on a design that was donated to the city by Piano, according to the decree.
Born in Genoa in 1937, Piano is famous for designing the Centre Georges Pompidou museum in Paris and the Shard building in London as well as airport terminals, museums, stadiums and residential complexes around the world. He won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1998.
Bucci officially inaugurated the demolition of the remains of the viaduct last Saturday, promising the city that a new bridge would be in place by Christmas 2019.
A criminal investigation is ongoing into why the cable-suspended viaduct that once soared over a riverbed, train tracks, residential buildings and warehouses, fell apart, apparently without warning.
Also on Tuesday, bridge operator Autostrade per l'Italia (Highways for Italy) said in a statement that, according to preliminary reports from a lab in Zurich where pieces of the viaduct are being analyzed as evidence, the failure of the metal cable stays that held the central part of the Morandi Bridge up "was not the primary cause of the collapse".