“There are profound reasons for the creation of a stable connection”, that is, a bridge over the Strait of Messina, between Sicily and the mainland. This was underlined by the Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility, Enrico Giovannini, in a hearing in the Chamber’s Transport and Environment Committees. The realization, however, will have to be defined “at the end of a decision-making process that initially envisages the drafting of a feasibility project to compare different alternative solutions”.
Looking at the mobility needs of the area, starting from the pre-Covid ones, Giovannini explained, “it turned out that the traffic of the Strait of Messina is significant compared to the national scale”. 11 million passengers a year pass through the area, 800,000 heavy vehicles a year and 1.8 million light vehicles a year, the minister stressed.
Bridge over the strait, Giovannini: “Feasibility study by 2022”
The first phase of the project for the stability of a bridge over the Strait of Messina, which compares the hypothesis to 1 and the hypothesis to 3 spans, “could be completed by the spring of 2022”, so as to be able to launch a public debate and reach “a shared choice”. This was underlined by the Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility, Enrico Giovannini, during the hearing of the Transport and Environment commissions in the Chamber. To carry out the technical and economic feasibility project, “a 50 million loan is available” allocated with the budget law and it would be advisable to “provide for the establishment of a working group dedicated to supporting and coordinating the entire process”.
Bridge over the strait, Giovannini: “It will be useful to use only public funding: 510 million by 2050”
To eventually create a stable connection that crosses the Strait of Messina it would be “more efficient” to use only public funding. This was underlined by the Minister of Transport, Enrico Giovannini, in a hearing with the Transport and Environment commissions of the Chamber, reporting on the results of the working group on this front. The working group in charge of evaluating a stable crossing system of the Strait, said, “believes that it is more efficient to finance the crossing system entirely and transparently at the expense of public finance, also in relation to the widespread benefits that the work would have. over the whole country “.
Beyond the possibility of building a bridge that crosses the Messina Streteto, there are “series of critical issues” in the area that must be resolved “and on this front” the government has already planned to reduce excessive travel times “. The Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility, Enrico Giovannini, points out.” 510 million are foreseen for a program that should be completed in 2025 “, he added, citing among the interventions the redevelopment of the ship for transshipment the hybridization of the entire fleet and the renewal of railway rolling stock, among other projects the redevelopment of the high-speed passenger ship and that of the railway stations of Messina, Reggio Calabria and Villa S. Giovanni.
Giovannini specified that the hypothesis of using a “finance project” should be evaluated “by a specific body” but reiterated that “what the commission points out is that the previous project should still be adequate also because in 10 years the the situation, including costs, has certainly changed “. The working group on the Bridge, added the owner of Mims, “suggests an even stronger investment by the public sector”.
The experts “believed that the cost of the work is so high also because the cost for management and maintenance would impose high fees that would end up on the cost of public finance”, explained Giovannini, who then focused on why ‘the work has not been included in the Recovery unlike others.
“The principle on the basis of which it was possible to include these projects in the Pnrr is that of functional lots, that is the need for the intervention to come into operation by 2026”, he recalled. Another point is that of the ‘non significant harm’, which with the current Via report on the theme of the bridge would have made it impossible to propose its evaluation to the European Commission.
“This applies to the stable crossing but also to other projects not included in the PNRR or in the complementary fund, such as the completion of the Salerno-Reggio Calabria high-speed train which is in budget variance”, concluded Giovannini.
Ponte Stretto: Giovannini, feasibility study at Italfer
The government intends to entrust the new feasibility study on the Bridge over the Strait of Messina to Italfer, a company of the FS group, so that it is completed by the end of spring 2022. Minister of Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility, Enrico Giovannini, according to whom the works could “be closed by June 2022”.
The feasibility study, he added, is “the most appropriate solution to make a decision that we all expect”. The report of the working group presented today “clearly indicated the content of the study, both for the single-span bridge – where there are many analyzes carried out and can be recovered – and for several spans. Our intention is to proceed to an assignment to Italferr, part of the FS group, which would make it possible to reduce times “.
“We can make an assessment to further narrow these times, but the issue is complex”, he said, indicating that in any case this deadline would allow “to indicate in the 2003 Budget Law the decisions that Parliament can then take”.