Mid-January 2022 saw work has begun on ‘Lot H41 Gola del Sill-Pfons’ of the Brenner Base Tunnel. The contract, worth €651M, was awarded last November to a JV comprising Webuild and its Swiss subsidiary CSC Costruzioni with a 50% stake, Implenia has the other 50%. The client is BBT SE, a European public limited company created for the development of the mega-railway tunnel between Italy and Austria under the Alps.
The new Lot H41 foresees a section of the Brenner Base Tunnel in Austria and consists of the construction of the railway from Gola del Sill near the city of Innsbruck in the north to the town of Pfons located further south. The contract includes a total of 22.5km of main tunnel tubes and 38 cross passages with a total length of about 2.3km, in addition to the lining of the already completed tunnels, an underground emergency stop at Innsbruck, access tunnels, exploratory tunnels and parts of other secondary tunnels.
Two TBMs, among the most sophisticated in the sector, with a diameter of more than 10m will be used for the mechanized method of excavation. The design of the project focuses on the environmental sustainability of the project during construction: the logistics of the work sites are designed to reduce travel times for the transport of materials, and measures to reduce dust and noise are foreseen.
The tunnel will become the longest railway tunnel in the world at 64km. Webuild is already working on the construction of other lots of this project such as the Isarco River Underpass and Mules 2-3 after having completed Lot Tulfes-Pfons. Webuild is also working on the railway between Fortezza and Ponte Gardena south of the tunnel.
The Brenner Base Tunnel is crucial for Europe. It will be a key part of the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) that will connect Helsinki in Finland and La Valletta in Malta. It also plays an important role in connecting Italy and Austria with a high-speed/high-capacity railway.