Work has officially begun on Lot H41 Gola del Sill-Pfons, one of the biggest sections of the Brenner Base Tunnel, a project that will become the world’s longest railway tunnels at 64km. Connecting Italy and Austria under the Alps once completed, it will become part of the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). Commissioned by BBT SE, the client overseeing the project, the lot is being built by Webuild and its Swiss subsidiary CSC Costruzioni (50% stake) with joint-venture partner Implenia (50% stake).
The Gola del Sill-Pfons lot, which will create up to 400 direct jobs and more than 1,000 for third parties, involves the construction of the railway from Gola del Sill near the city of Innsbruck in the north to the town of Pfons further south. Among the most challenging engineering projects in the world, it includes a total of 22.5km of the two main parallel tunnels, with 38 cross passages. It also involves the creation of an underground emergency stop at Innsbruck, access tunnels, exploratory tunnels and parts of other secondary tunnels. There will also be the construction of a bridge over the Brennero A13 highway.
The terms of the contract include a strong focus on the sustainability of the construction activities. The logistics of the work sites are designed to reduce travel times for the transport of materials. Measures will be put in place to reduce dust and noise caused by vehicles, and the water used during construction will be treated before being returned to the environment.
The importance of the project to Austria was underscored by the participation of Austrian Federal Minister Leonore Gewessler and Pat Cox, European Coordinator for the Scandinavian Mediterranean Corridor of the TEN-T corridor, at the ground-breaking ceremony.