Messina Bridge, final project presented: target to start work in summer 2024

Eurolink Consortium delivered the update documentation. The approval timetable gets underway

Was introduced today, September 30, 2023, ithe definitive project of the Bridge over the Strait of Messina. The announcement came from Webuild CEO Pietro Salini via video link to the Forza Italia convention in Paestum. “The other day we signed the prodromal deed with Stretto di Messina spa which renews the industrial agreements and we are ready to stipulate the contract once the operations are completed. Today’s delivery concludes the process of all those processes that were foreseen by the decree that restored the Messina Bridge”.

In line with the scheduled times, the Eurolink consortium, led by the Webuild Group, delivered the documentation relating to the update of the definitive project of the bridge. The changes described in the Eurolink report update the design of the bridge and its road and rail connections with respect to the most recent technological developments and technical standards for construction, in order to increase the level of safety and environmental compatibility, for a work that represents a technological challenge and a showcase of Italian engineering in the world.

”We are technically ready, now we will have to see all the actual steps with the Sicily and Calabria Regions. We will meet very soon. Now it is a question of authorization cataract, so we will have the so-called experts who have been appointed by Minister Salvini, who must review the project and check that everything complies with the regulations and wishes. We are ready to physically begin this dream of many Italians”, said Salini, adding that “today we have a program of direct hiring of 10 thousand people. Today these people are not there and the issue is to train them. We have set up training courses not only in Sicily and Calabria, but also on the rest of the Italian territory. In the next three years we need to train at least 5 thousand people. It’s a very big effort from an economic point of view. We need significant public-private collaboration.”

”The Bridge is not just the connection between two important parts of the country, 5.5 million people finally connected on a stable basis to the rest of the world, and not only with Italy but the rest of Europe. It is above all a showcase for Italian industry. The Messina Bridge will not be Webuild’s bridge, but the bridge of Italian industry and it must make Italian companies work and make everyone wear a rosette because this work will be seen throughout the world as a record of Italian engineering in world”.

Ciucci: “The aim is to open construction sites in the summer of 2024”

“It is a fundamental step – commented the CEO of the Stretto di Messina company Pietro Ciucci – within the tight timetable that will allow achieve the goal of opening construction sites in the summer of 2024, in line with the indications received from the Minister of Infrastructure Matteo Salvini. The Stretto di Messina company, restarted just one hundred days ago, is now equipped with a technical, economic, financial and legal organizational structure capable of managing the demanding business plan. These activities include, among other things, the ongoing updates for the traffic study, the cost-benefit analysis, the economic-financial plan with the definition of the amount of the investment and management costs, and the sustainability report. In implementation of the provisions of the law, we are preparing the update of the Convention and the Program Agreement for the better definition of the implementation framework of the work”.

“Furthermore – explained Pietro Ciucci – the Technical Working Groups have been activated with the representatives of the Municipalities affected by the work, with the aim of maintaining a constant dialogue and discussion with the Cities and allowing the local governments to carry out the planned strategic choices. These are meetings of fundamental importance because the bridge is a work of the territory and for the territory, from which extraordinary benefits will derive. In this context, the opening of offices in Villa San Giovanni and Messina is imminent to guarantee a continuous flow of information with the institutions and citizens”.

Start of timetable

With the delivery of the designer’s report, the timetable for the approval of the final project comes to life. Stretto di Messina immediately starts the technical and economic investigation, together with the Project Manager Consultant, Parson Trasportation Group; at the same time it acquires the opinion of the Scientific Committee. This process, lasting one month under the law, will be completed with approval by the Board of Directors of the Strait of Messina. Subsequently, the company will send the final project and the designer’s update report to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport which will call the Services Conference in which the state administrations and local authorities involved in the construction of the work will participate. The documentation, together with the environmental documents, will be simultaneously transmitted to the Ministry of the Environment and Energy Security to obtain environmental compatibility.

50 years of studies to create works that showcase Italian engineering in the world

The update of the definitive project represents the culmination of 50 years of work, studies and analyzes by hundreds of engineers, technicians, university professors and researchers. These experts worked to develop design solutions capable of guaranteeing the highest levels of safety, efficiency, environmental sustainability and economic and social impact for the Strait Bridge, a work of extraordinary complexity. Particular attention was paid to the stability of the structure and its resistance to winds and earthquakes. The bridge was designed to withstand extreme wind intensities, far exceeding the strongest wind ever recorded in the Strait. From a seismic point of view, the structural integrity of the work has been verified for events with a magnitude greater than the exceptional Messina earthquake of 1908.

Preliminary studies and analyzes conducted over the years have made the area between Messina and Reggio Calabria among the most studied in the Mediterranean. The work is destined to become the longest suspension bridge in the world, with a total span of approximately 3,660 meters and a central suspended span of 3,300 metres. Its platform, technically called a deck, will have a total width of approximately 60 metres, and the two towers placed on the ground, which will support the entire structure, will reach a height of 399 metres. The structure will accommodate two road carriageways with three lanes in each direction (two travel and one emergency) and a double-track railway line, allowing a flow of 6,000 vehicles per hour and up to 200 trains per day, revolutionizing the mobility of the area and the whole of Southern Italy.