Rain of funds for safety on the roads managed by Anas, with 1.7 billion euros for 25 calls for tenders. Sicily will also have its share, with the works planned on the A29 Palermo-Mazara del Vallo and on the A19 Palermo-Catania. These are interventions for the upgrading and scheduled maintenance of the network also through new technologies with a view to increasingly raising safety standards, improving efficiency and driving comfort. A tender, as mentioned, under a framework agreement, concerns the rehabilitation and upgrading of the A19 and A29 motorways, for a total amount of 250 million euros.
Not only that: there is also a project to complete the road itinerary of the SS626 of the Valle del Sosio, also known as the Caltanissetta-Gela expressway, which also includes the geotechnical monitoring service during construction, from km. 27,800 per km. 39,000 with a total value of over 19.8 million euros. A tender also for the supply of 10 mobile bridges that can be developed (by bridge), of which five installed on two-axle trucks with a minimum extension of 15 meters and five installed on three-axle trucks with a minimum extension of 17 meters, for a total of 6 million euros. In Sicily also a lot for technical-administrative assistance to the person in charge of the procedure and to the works management office for the execution of scheduled maintenance interventions for a total value of 70 million euro (16 lots in total).
Speaking of motorways, the reopening of the Telegrafo tunnel on the Messina-Palermo line, closed (only in the direction of Palermo) after a truck fire last December 24, will be postponed to the new year. Probably the second week. According to the first analyzes by the technicians of the Autostrade Siciliane consortium (the company that manages the A20), it should in fact take about 14 days to restore that part of the tunnel damaged by the fire. This was reported by the general manager of the consortium Salvatore Minaldi who carried out an inspection in the area of the accident. The technicians of the company in charge of the restoration are at work in the gallery on a 24-hour shift.
The traffic situation on the 113 state road (used from Messina to Rometta, where you can take the motorway back towards Palermo) continues to be at least chaotic, due to the large amount of traffic. Meanwhile, controversy ensues. The fire of the lorry inside the tunnel «could only apparently be considered a random accident. But this is not the case for those who know the recent history of this stretch of motorway», says Michele Barresi, general secretary of Uiltrasporti, who recalls how just a year ago the inspector sent by the Ministry of Infrastructure, following investigations and checks on tunnels and viaducts of the A20, signaled the poor conditions of the Telegrafo tunnel in a substantial report. In the 47 pages delivered on 21 March 2021, the inspector intimated to the Cas, the ministry’s concessionaire, a series of interventions defined as “urgent and cannot be postponed”. On page 19 of that document, the inspector wrote verbatim that without those interventions “the conditions for guaranteeing the passage of motorway traffic in safety do not exist for the inspected tunnel”.
The situation appeared so serious that the first provision requested was “to ban motorway traffic until all the reported problems have been resolved”. Many of the critical issues identified concerned the roof and the road surface. Uiltrasporti also recalls that the same MIT inspector, in an interview immediately after a similar episode that took place inside the Telegrafo gallery, when a car caught fire causing inconvenience in that case too, called for immediate action. On that occasion he declared: «The Telegraph gallery should have been closed as early as March 2021. Let alone after a fire which, at best, cooked the tunnel’s cladding materials. After a fire of that type, the urgency to close is inevitably amplified».
Words that for the trade union «resound more current than ever and that we are convinced must have the utmost attention from the competent bodies to verify what interventions have been carried out by the Consortium in this period of time.
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