Workers have celebrated the TBM breakthrough and completion of the 7km long Serravalle tunnel, the second longest tunnel for the Terzo Valico dei Giovi high-speed/high-capacity railway project being developed in Italy by Consorzio Collegamenti Integrati Veloci (COCIV), led by Webuild.
The milestone, which brings the amount of excavation completed to 65%, establishes an uninterrupted connection among the work sites along a 22km section of the railway on the side of Piemonte region of the project.
The breakthrough inside a chamber on the Serravalle tunnel at the Libarna site near the municipality of Arquata in the province of Alessandria was witnessed by Italian Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility Minister Enrico Giovannini, who was connected remotely; Extraordinary Commissioner for the Terzo Valico dei Giovi and Genoa Junction projects, Calogero Mauceri; Webuild Chief Executive Pietro Salini; Ferrovie dello Stato Chief Executive and General Director Gianfranco Battisti; and Liguria and Piemonte governors Giovanni Toti and Alberto Cirio.
“I see there is a big political debate over the Recovery Plan, which foresees investments in infrastructure over a period of six years for nearly €50bn, representing 0.5% of GDP,” said Salini. “These resources need to be put together with other sources of financing. Before COVID-19, the country spent about 2% of GDP in infrastructure. So, to revive the economy, we need a big boost and more spending. We’re talking about at least €300bn, which is in line with investments being made by other European countries in infrastructure. I hope to be able to see projects for new infrastructure start soon with a long-term vision for our country. There are no sustainable countries where there are no jobs. It is the creation of employment that should be at the top of everyone’s minds, as is foreseen in Article One of our Constitution.”
The Serravalle tunnel was excavated by TBM Giovanna for 6.4km, which completed its work in September 2020, while TBM Elisa achieved this most recent breakthrough. Both are of 10m diameter. The bored faced complex challenges including the alignment running under the Serravalle Outlet and the historic Genoa-Turin railway, all requiring the application of innovative monitoring systems both above and below ground.
The Genoa-Milan connection will reduce travel times between the two cities and represent a significant part of the sustainable mobility guaranteed by Terzo Valico dei Giovi. At a total length of 53km, the railway will join the Rhine-Alpine corridor of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), connecting Genoa on the Mediterranean Sea with Rotterdam on the North Sea. The railway will have four connections at Voltri, Genova Parco Campasso, Novi Ligure and Tortona in order to link it to the existing lines.