(Recasts with talks with commissioner over 400 mln euro payment)
MILAN, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Italy’s Autostrade said it is in talks over a request to pay 400 million euros ($460 million) to fund the rebuilding of the collapsed Genoa bridge with the special commissioner appointed by the government to oversee its reconstruction.
Autostrade, part of infrastructure group Atlantia, operated the bridge that collapsed on Aug. 14, killing 43 people and severing a motorway that connects the port city of Genoa with southern France.
The government blamed Autostrade for the disaster and decided to exclude the business from the reconstruction project, even though it will have to pay for it.
The special commissioner, Genoa Mayor Marco Bucci, has asked Autostrade for around 400 million euros to fund the rebuilding of the bridge as well as the purchase of empty buildings under it.
Autostrade said it was having “daily and constructive talks” with the commissioner, but added that it had filed a legal complaint against the government decree that excludes it from rebuilding the viaduct, arguing that it violated existing laws.
The reconstruction contract has been awarded by Bucci to Italy’s biggest builder Salini Impregilo and shipbuilder Fincantieri.
The project will cost 202 million euros plus tax and be completed in 12 months, the commissioner has said. ($1 = 0.8721 euros) (Reporting by Francesca Landini in Milan and Paola Balsomini in Genoa, editing by Valentina Za and Louise Heavens)