Construction works on the US $3bn section of Verona-Padua high-speed/high-capacity railway in Italy has begun. This is after IRICAV 2 consortium led by the Webuild Group signed the contract for works to begin. The signing comes as the Group forges ahead with Progetto Italia, a strategy to consolidate and strengthen Italy’s infrastructure sector. The Group owns 83% of the consortium (Webuild 45.44%, Astaldi 37.49%) and Hitachi Rail STS.
This particular section with a completion date of 2027, will run for 44.2km between Verona and Bivio Vicenza, crossing 13 municipalities. By quadrupling the existing railway, it will improve the quality of the train service and strengthen its links to a European network, helping reduce the impact on the environment as well as the number of road accidents.
Webuild Chief Executive Pietro Salini said that, just days after delivering the Genoa Bridge, Webuild is very happy to start a new strategic project, this time for mobility in Veneto. “It is another piece of infrastructure that we hope will involve a long supply chain, running from north to south. It comes after the start of work on the Ionian highway in Calabria and on the Nodo Ferroviario in Genoa,” he said.
He further added that, from south to north, Italy is starting up again, and it is doing it with infrastructure, bringing work to the regions. “We are proud to be able to bring our expertise to this project in order to relaunch the country where we have our roots,” he affirmed.
The project will see work start immediately on a US $1bn part of the first section. The other US $2bn for the second part of the section will be financed within 12 months. The investment being made on the entire length of the railway between Verona and Padua is estimated at US $6bn, US $5bn of which is available to the general contractor. It represents an important link across the country’s northeast. It also serves as an example of how infrastructure can bring employment and foster economic revival. Work on the first section is to create about 4,000 direct and indirect jobs.
The project, part of the high-speed/high-capacity railway between Milan and Venice, will belong to the Mediterranean Corridor that will link Spain and Ukraine. One of the strategic trans-European transport corridors (the so-called TEN-T core network), it will connect southwestern European countries with countries to the east. The Corridor will support traffic between Europe and Asia. In Europe, meanwhile, it will handle traffic between the southern and eastern regions. With the addition of the line between Milan and Venice to the national network, 75% of the Italian population will have access to high-speed rail service.
“The Genova model has shown that we have before us a great opportunity. Thanks to technical expertise and efficiency and constructive collaboration among institutions, clients and private business, we can finally take on the country’s infrastructure challenges that have existed and been on stand-by for too long. It will also provide opportunities for our young people. We hope that this new project follows the lesson learned from the Genoa Bridge: to build quickly while maintaining quality,” said Salini.