The Bridge over the Straits ‘must be done’. This is the indication that comes from the working group of the Ministry of Infrastructures and Sustainable Mobility which in a long document draws the conclusions of the study done. These conclusions will serve to have a more detailed analytical ‘context’ in which the necessarily political decision can then be placed. So for the group better a bridge, possibly with several spans and not a tunnel to connect Calabria and Sicily. An entirely public financing of the work which could be repaid with tolls is also better.
The working group “believes that there are profound reasons for creating a stable crossing system of the Strait of Messina”, reads the conclusions of the long document deposited.
More in detail, “the multi-span bridge system would allow the connection to be located closer to the towns of Messina and Reggio Calabria, resulting in a smaller extension of the multimodal connections, a lower visual impact, a lower sensitivity to wind effects, costs presumably lower and greater distance from the valuable naturalistic areas “.
Vice versa: “For the system with tunnel in the riverbed the considerations on seismic risk appear more critical, especially in correspondence with the crossing of the banks due to the presence of extensive systems of active faults, not sufficiently known”. The working group suggests to “develop the first phase of the feasibility project by limiting the comparison to the two crossing systems with single-span bridge and multi-span bridge. The first phase of the feasibility project will have to be subjected to a subsequent public debate” .
A stable connection of the Strait “would also make it possible to significantly increase the integration of the two metropolitan cities of Reggio Calabria and Messina, which already today express about 30% of the demand for crossings of the Strait. A single integrated metropolitan area of the Strait, with its approximately 800,000 inhabitants, would constitute a development accelerator more than proportional to the demographic dimension “.
The working group also “made an international comparison of the connections made with bridges and tunnels in recent decades. From these analyzes it is clear that, among the large islands of the world without a stable connection and comparable with the Italian case, Sicily it has the highest connection potential in terms of the ratio between inhabitants and distance from the mainland, while there are numerous islands which, despite having a stable connection, have significantly lower connection potentials “.
As regards the financing of the work, the working group considers it “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 has on the entire country.
As said by Minister Enrico Giovannini, the bridge takes time while the resources of the ‘Recovery fund’ must be committed to works that are concretely usable by 2026, impossible times to allocate these loans to the construction of such impressive structures. In this regard, in order to allocate part of the proceeds and the lower public contributions necessary for the dynamic crossing to the management and maintenance of the work, the working group proposes to evaluate different toll levels for cars, trucks, local / regional trains. , high-speed trains and freight trains, such as to stimulate the demand for mobility and the socio-economic development of the territories involved “.
In short, now the decision passes to the government but the group believes that an intervention is necessary: Calabria and Sicily “are at an absolute disadvantage, not only with respect to the more developed part of Italy but also with respect to the South as a whole. This gap is not closing but, on the contrary, it continues to grow, accentuating territorial imbalances and social disparities “.
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