Milan, everything is ready for the inauguration of the first section of the M4 subway

Fewer cars, fewer emissions, more trees, an infrastructure dedicated to sustainability and smart mobility

Everything is ready for the start-up of the first section of the M4 subway in Milan, which will allow connect Linate airport – which recovered pre-Covid passenger traffic in the first five months of 2022 – with Piazzale Dateo (six stations). In 2023 we will arrive in the center with the opening of two other stations for later continue to the terminus of the Milano San Cristoforo railway station. Created by a group of companies led by Webuild, the main Italian group in the sector of large infrastructure works, the M4 is a driverless subway: a system that the Milanese already use with the M5 and which Webuild has put into operation all over the world, from Denmark to Saudi Arabia.

In total the M4, Blue Line, will be 15 km long and 21 stations and will be able to transport 86 million people every year, avoiding more than 180,000 car journeys every day with 75,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions reduced per year. To create an intermodal network across the entire urban and extra-urban transport system, two interchanges with the M1 and M2 underground lines and three interchanges with the suburban railway lines are planned.

The shipyards have worked, and are still working on two thirds of the line, under the banner of three keywords: sustainability, environment and innovation. Disposal of the excavated earth from the tunnels, for example, was carried out via underground conveyor belts, instead of resorting to the use of trucks, to reduce the circulation of heavy vehicles, limiting the urban route to a few hundred metres. The construction sites have also been designed to allow the conservation of 169 trees and reduce felling by 24% compared to the initial project. Once the work is completed, the Municipality of Milan has committed to planting 1,900 new trees along the line.

Attention to the historical and artistic heritage of the city

To protect the historic and artistic heritage of Milan, the Consortium that carried out the work has set up a technical control procedure that combines preventive analyzes with continuous monitoring of the buildings on the surface and with archaeological assistance during the preventive checks of the excavations. As an added precaution, the M4’s tunnels were drilled deeper than industry standards.

During the works, all geometric and structural data of the buildings affected by the excavation of the tunnels was collected and analyzed, in order to identify any critical issues on which to plan preventive interventions. This operation was carried out also thanks to the inspections of specialized technicians, which led to a series of interventions concerning, for example, Casa Silvestri and Palazzo Serbelloni. Safety works were also carried out at Villa Necchi Campiglio. Some monuments have been moved temporarily to avoid any risk in the passage of the underground milling machine.