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The architect Santiago Calatrava has been condemned by the Court of Accounts of Venice , to pay 78,000 euros for "tax damages" by increasing the costs of the construction of the Bridge of the Constitution on the Grand Canal of Venice.
The sanction takes into account the final cost of the bridge - a total of 11.6 million euros compared to the budgeted 7 million - and considers that there was a " serious negligence " in the initial estimate of costs, according to Italian media.
Among these extra costs are those that affect the size of some pipes or the calculation of the wear times of the glass steps. In this case, it was expected to last at least 20 years, but since its inauguration it had to resort to " expensive replacements and patches " that still continue today.
The ruling adds that negligence is "even more serious and worthy of being stigmatized because it comes from a renowned world-renowned professional with very high competence, with a long and proven experience in bridge construction."
Cost overrun offense
In 2015 the Venetian Court of Accounts had acquitted the architect of an alleged crime of cost overruns on the bridge. But the court has finally condemned the architect on appeal, after his acquittal in the first degree, to pay 78,000 euros to the public treasury of Venice for the cost of his controversial bridge, opened in 2008, because of a series of errors in his draft. Together with him, the engineer from Venice, Salvatore Vento , has also been ordered to pay 11,000 euros.
The Constitution Bridge was built to link the Santa Lucia railway station with the Plaza Roma , where vehicles that arrive in the city are parked by their only land route. This infrastructure from the beginning was involved in problems, delays and controversies and has required several changes or the introduction of elements to improve its accessibility to people in wheelchairs.
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