I know the timing is bad since there were more earthquakes this week in the middle of Italy, but this is not about earthquakes, although it is about the earth moving. In Rome, north of the centre city is Ponte Milvio. This happens to be Rome’s oldest bridge, built in 200 BC. It is also the beginning of Rome becoming Christian since the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 300 AD between Constantine and Emperor Maxetius. Constantine after winning the battle spread Christianity throughout his new empire.
The bridge area today has a lot of young nightlife and a great market on the first and second Sunday of every month. Of course, none of this really as anything to do with my story.
This area, abutting the Tiber River has a very high water table. Because of this the city decided they needed a water main to run from the street Via della Farnesina to the river. Being Italy, they ran short of money and stopped completion of the pipe about one quarter mile from the river. I am not sure how long ago this happened, probably years though.
Where the construction was stopped, the water flowed from the open ended pipe onto the soil and naturally, the buildings above were compromised. Picture a pipe funneling water under your house. Yep. That’s the picture.
One day the residents of the apartment building above this pipe woke to find their building was making strange noises. Fortunately they immediately contacted the fire brigade who evacuated everyone. Shortly after the entire building collapsed. The building next to it is no longer standing straight. It tilted about 18 degrees. Somewhat like that leaning tower further north.
They blocked off the street access to the area and posted a couple vigilie trucks and a few guards to keep people out. This was the end of September of this year. The photos below are from last week, the end of October. This building will have to be demolished (as you can see). The government has had an offer by a contractor. He offered to demolish the building and rebuild it if he could add two floors that he would own to either sell or live in. He even offered to house the 100 or so people now homeless while the rebuilding was going on.
This is the part that is soooo Italian government. Because of this really good offer, they are suspicious of this contractor. It has been under “advisement” for some time and I suspect that unless another earthquake collapses the building it will remain as is for many many more months.
In the meantime, there are all the people who cannot even go back into their home to get anything. There are the vigilie guarding the area, along with the blocked road which restricts traffic. Interesting logic.
This could be why the Roman shrug was developed.
We can check back next year to see the status.