Bridge over the Strait, definitive ok: here is the project. How much will it cost

Anyone over thirty will have heard it many times: the bridge over the Strait of Messina it will do. Every time, however, there is something that makes the project stall again dal 1992 it has also seen very important changes and adjustments.

But this time there should be: on May 24, 2023, the green light came from the Senate to the decree law on the infrastructure that will connect Sicily to the mainland (104 votes in favour, 49 against and three abstentions).

The yes of the Senate to the Ponte sul Same: what happens now?

When it will finally be ready and usable, the bridge over the Strait “it will save 6 billion euros a year in displacements and connections” and “will create beyond 100,000 jobs” (but will they be in Chinese hands?). This was supported by the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Matthew Salvinispeaking of a “historic decision” and of “unprecedented investment for Calabria and Sicily”. A work that, again according to the leader of the League, will also be environmentally friendly, given that it will lead to savings of “100,000 tons of harmful emissions in the air and to a cleaner sea”.

Parliament has reactivated the concession to Strait of Messina company, founded in 1981 and put into liquidation by the Monti Government, and which is now becoming an in-house company. The Ministry of Economy stops a 51% majority stake and indicates the president and the chief executive officer. The participation of Rfi, Anas and some Regions of Sicily and Calabria. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, on the other hand, will carry out guidance and supervision activities, guaranteeing itself the possibility of appointing a commissioner.

When will the Bridge be ready and active?

The deadline indicated in the decree for the approval of the executive project is set at July 31, 2024. The bridge could be ready for the transit of vehicles in 2032as desired by Salvini himself.

The bridge project

The project in the hands of the engineers is that approved in 2011enriched and supplemented by an updated report on environmental friendliness and on the new technical rules for construction. On paper the one on the Strait of Messina it will be the longest single span bridge in the worldwith his 3,300 meters. And it will be by far on the second and currently first in the standings, the Japanese Akashi Kaikyo Bridge (1,991 meters long). The package of the project is also a record: there are over 8 thousand project documents.

The deck will be 60.4 meters wideWhile the towers will be 399 meters high and the central waterway of 65 meters (for the transit of large ships). The suspension system will consist of two pairs of cables of 1.26 meters in diameter, with a total length of 5,320 meters between the two anchor blocks.

The structure was conceived to be “earthquake proof”, with an earthquake resistance equal to 7.1 on the Richter scale. And it will be too “weather proof”thanks to a “third generation” aerodynamic deck capable of withstanding winds of up to 270 kilometers per hour.

What vehicles will transit on the bridge

The bridge will be formed by six road lanes (three for each direction of travel including the emergency lane) e two railway tracksfor an infrastructure capacity to withstand the passage of six thousand vehicles an hour and 200 trains a day. In the course of a year the transit of six million vehicles and 60,000 trains.

The vehicles that will pass on the bridge will be “protected” by the vento up to a speed of 158 kilometers per hour, while railway practicability at 120 kilometers per hour will be “safe” in conditions of gusts of wind up to 150 kilometers per hour and at 60 kilometers per hour in conditions of gusts of wind up to 190 kilometers per hour.

How much will it cost

According to the Ministry and analysts, the total costs of the work will be around 14 billion euros (we had also talked about the costs here). The latest official estimate actually speaks of 13.5 billion euros, including onshore works, as indicated by the Government in the annex to the Def. However, the Economic and Financial Document also underlined how, at the moment, the covers and public resources for the project are insufficient. In 2011, however, the total cost was identified as around 8.5 billion.

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