The Webuild Group has begun ahead of schedule the work for the construction of the Verona-Bivio di Vicenza section of the high-speed/high-capacity railway between Verona and Padua. The work, which Webuild is leading with a 83% stake in the IRICAV DUE consortium with Hitachi Rail STS at 17%, on the section is worth approximately €2.5 billion and belongs to a wider project for Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (Gruppo FS Italiane) worth more than €2.7 billion.
Work will first consist of clearing the ground of any possible war ordnances where a tunnel is to be built in the municipality of San Martino Buonalbergo to allow the railway to pass under the A4 highway in eastern Verona. In December 2020, the consortium will start the selection process for the suppliers that will work on the first lot by using an innovative qualification system in full respect of the European Union directive. After publishing a notice about the system and the accompanying rules on its website and the Gazzetta Ufficiale (Official Gazette), the consortium will proceed with the selection of the main suppliers in a preliminary phase before negotiating with a limited number of them.
The first functional lot will run 44.2 km through 13 municipalities to quadruple the existing railway and improve the quality of the service along it. The lot will also strengthen the railway’s links to a European network and help reduce the impact on the environment as well as the number of road accidents. The contract, which was signed in August, foresees the work being completed by 2026.
The project, part of the high-speed/high-capacity railway between Milan and Venice, will become part of the Mediterranean Corridor that will link Spain and Ukraine. As one of the strategic corridors of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), it will connect southwestern Europe with countries to the east. The corridor will also facilitate greater traffic between Europe and Asia. Within Europe, it will handle traffic between the southern and eastern regions. With the addition of the line between Milan and Venice to Italy’s national network, 75% of the country’s population will have access to high-speed rail service.
The entire Verona-Padua project is estimated at €4.8 billion, represents an important link across the country’s northeast and a new contributor to a revival in the economy and employment in the infrastructure sector. Work is to create about 4,000 direct and indirect jobs.
The first functional lot is one of five key projects in Italy being developed by the Webuild Group: from the Bicocca-Catenanuova section of a railway expansion between Palermo and Catania, to the Terzo Valico dei Giovi that will improve connections between the port system on the Ligurian coast and the main rail networks in northern Italy and Europe; from the Brenner Base Tunnel that will link Verona with Munich, to the Naples-Cancello section of the Naples-Bari railway line. Such infrastructure under construction provide work for about 5,000 small- and medium-sized businesses along the supply chain combined value of €4.4 billion.
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