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Even the Senate says yes to the bridge over the Strait of Messina

FIRST STONE IN 2024 – With 103 votes in favour, 49 against and 3 abstentions, the Senate has approved the law for the realization of bridge over the Strait of Messina. The approval follows that from the Chamber and defines, among other things, the structure of the Stretto di Messina company. This is the first formal step for the construction of the structure that should connect Sicily to Calabria and whose works, according to what was said by the Minister of Infrastructure Matteo Salvini, should begin during 2024. “It is a historic, definitive, awaited decision for more than 50 years,” Salvini said after the final vote.

FOR VEHICLES AND TRAINS – The Northern League minister has assured that it will be a green work and that he will offer 100,000 jobs. The cost? “About 14 billion”. The Strait of Messina bridge project features the suspension bridge layout, with a central span length of 3,300 meters which will make it the longest single span bridge in the world. L’height of the towers will be of 399 meters, while in the center it will leave 65 meters free with respect to sea level to allow the passage of even the largest ships. It will have 6 road lanes dedicated to vehicles (three in each direction, including the hard shoulder) and two railway tracks. When fully operational, it will allow the passage of 6,000 vehicles every hour and 200 trains a day. The bridge will be designed to be stable in winds of up to 270 km/h and to withstand earthquakes reaching a magnitude of 7.1 on the Richter scale. Naturally, the connecting works are also planned: 20.3 km of roads and 20.2 km of railway structures.

BEST SOLUTION – The final design had been approved in 2011 and is result of more than 40 years of studies which led to the choice of a single span suspension bridge. Other hypotheses had already been discarded. A multi-span bridge would not have been possible as the pylons would have had to be positioned about 150 meters deep and in the presence of very strong and unpredictable sea currents. Even a tunnel would have presented many technical unknowns in terms of stability and sealing, due to the high seismicity of the area. Finally, a single span bridge has a more limited impact on the seabed, thus being less problematic for marine flora and fauna.

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