Here comes the resilient highway that adapts to climate change

With the Kassandra software, Concessioni Autostradali Venete will design interventions also taking into account extreme events, hydraulic risk, hydrogeological instability

A4, Passante and Tangenziale di Mestre become resilient to the effects produced by climate change. It happens thanks to Kassandra, a software that will allow Venetian Motorway Concessions to plan maintenance interventions considering not only the state of the infrastructure, but also what surrounds it (settlements, environment, other human works) and taking into account factors such as extreme weather events, hydraulic risk, hydrogeological instability.

The pilot project, applied for the first time to motorway infrastructures, was presented in a study day organized, together with the Order of Engineers of the Metropolitan City of Venice, at the Cav headquarters in Marghera, the last of a cycle of events called ” Environmental e-Roads ”, designed by the concessionaire to bring together the academic and research world with those who manage the works in the area. Massimo Schintu, president of Asecap, the European association of motorway concessionaires, was also present, demonstrating how the ‘Cav system’ aims to be a model ready to be exported even outside the Italian context.

In the new concept of sustainability by Cav, the green along the infrastructures no longer has only an ornamental function or of contrasting atmospheric and acoustic pollution, but also fulfills, if suitably designed, for risk mitigation purposes: in fact, it reduces the impact that climate change can have on the infrastructure itself and the surrounding area.

The goal is to increase the adaptability of the infrastructures managed by Cav and to minimize their vulnerability. To do this, the Concessionaire, thanks to the collaboration with Greenway Group Srl and the CCSC, Center for Studies on Climate Change, relies on a platform capable of constantly monitoring and collecting data on the state of health of the managed works, returning scenarios that make it possible to plan the necessary interventions in the best possible way and thus increasing the resilience of the infrastructure.

Already successfully used in some urban areas, Kassandra allows you to imagine the evolution of the motorway infrastructure as a result of 12 parameters, including water, air, buildings, health, mobility, waste, energy and others, all linked to quality indices. of life. Based on the data collected in the field, the platform elaborates optimal scenarios, providing the manager with useful information to make decisions on interventions, maintenance and organization. In this way, through artificial intelligence, the Company always has the best possible management structure available, which considers the maximization of benefits for each single parameter.

A first experimental phase examines three peculiar motorway sections, because they are located in different contexts: one on the Mestre ring road (between the Miranese and Castellana junctions), therefore in an urbanized area, one on the Passante, in an agricultural area (between the junction with the A57 and Spinea) and a mixed one on the A4 Padua-Venice, in the Vigonza area. Each sector will be analyzed for a width of one kilometer (500 meters per side), in order to consider not only the work itself, but also the surrounding environment. For the first time, therefore, the motorway is considered as a complex system: in the analysis that generates management and maintenance projects, the context in which it is inserted is also considered.

Considering, for example, the water parameter, the system will be able to tell for each section what needs to be done to make the infrastructure resilient in the event of extreme weather events or in the management of wastewater. Similarly, for the air parameter, it will say which policies must be implemented for the health of people and the protection of residential settlements. Once the project is extended to all competences (CAV currently manages 74 kilometers of network), an optimal management model will be obtained for 74 square kilometers of territory, in practice an area as large as the city of Vicenza.

“The project and the interest it is arousing – explains CAV CEO Ugo Dibennardo – demonstrates how motorway concessionaires can represent a resource for the country system: infrastructures are not a threat to the territory, indeed they can become an added value. if managed with caution and responsibility, also using modern technologies and involving the world of research “.

For the president of Cav, Luisa Serato, “today’s avant-garde is an infrastructural system capable of adapting to the environment and changes. Our green vocation must be understood in this perspective of continuous transformation, capable of considering the territory as a context in which to enter and not, as too often happens, the opposite “.