The Terzo Valico railway project achieved a double tunnelling breakthrough in September for two most important underground sections of the railway line.
Webuild, the company responsible for the construction works, achieved these two milestones on the Valico tunnel and the Serravalle tunnel, part of the EUR 6.9 billion Terzo Valico railway project which will improve the railway connection between Genoa and Milan and will integrate the port’s links with the rail network in northern Italy and the rest of Europe.
Once completed, the Valico will be the longest railway tunnel in Italy.
The double breakthrough will allow for all the work sites to be connected to one another along a section of 17 km.
The achievements were celebrated at an event held at the municipality of Serravalle Scrivia, in the Province of Alessandria in the Italian region of Piedmont.
The Italian Infrastructure and Tranport Minister Paola De Micheli, the Extraordinary Commissioner for Terzo Valico dei Giovi and Nodo di Genova projects Calogero Mauceri, Webuild CEO Pietro Salini, Ferrovie dello Stato CEO Gianfranco Battisti and Rete Ferroviaria Italiana CEO Maurizio Gentile attended the event.
“We are proudly here for a double breakthrough, and the opening of these two tunnels serve as an example of the extraordinary expertise of so many people, whom I thank for all the hard work that they have done,” Webuild CEO Pietro Salini said.
The first breakthrough was done by using the traditional excavation method occurred along the Valico tunnel. It was the first of a number of breakthroughs that will occur along the planned tunnel’s entire length of 27 km. It hosts the Camerone di Valico Nord, an underground cathedral of sorts covering 540 square metres, and measuring 30 metres wide and 22 metres high.
The second breakthrough was along the Serravalle tunnel, with 6.4 km of its 7 km in total length already excavated by tunnel-boring machine.The TBM called “Giovanna”, is 115 metres-long with a diametre of nearly 10 metres. The TBM crossed a complicated terrain near the Serravalle Designer Outlet and the old Genoa-Turin railway that required the use of an innovative monitoring system above and below ground.
With a total length of 53 km, of which 36 km underground constructed, the Terzo Valico dei Giovi will reduce the travel time between Genoa and Milan to 50 minutes from one hour and 39 minutes.
In addition to the construction of the main line, the project includes four connections among Voltri, Genova Parco Campasso, Novi Ligure and Tortona in order to link the new railway to the existing ones. Within the Terzo Valico project, Webuild is also working on the Nodo Ferroviario (railway hub) in Genoa, another strategic project alongside Terzo Valico dei Giovi.
The railway will become part of the Rhine-Alpine corridor. Webuild is working on a number of other railway projects for the TEN-T that include the Verona-Bivio di Vicenza section of the Verona-Padua high-speed line, the Naples-Cancello and Apice-Hirpinia sections of the Naples-Bari high-speed railway, as well as the Bicocca-Catenanova section of the regular Palermo-Catania railway in Sicily.