Not only the "greenest work in the world" that unites "Sicily to Italy and the rest of Europe" but also a tourist attraction according to Salvini because it will be the longest "cable-stayed" bridge (supported by cables) in the world, about 3.2 kilometers between Villa San Giovanni and Messina.

The precedents: the longest bridges in the world

The Humber Bridge (United Kingdom): 1,410 m

Runyang Bridge (China): 1490 m

Storebaeltsbroen (Denmark): 1624 m

Xihoumen Bridge (China): 1,650 m

The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge (Japan): 1,991 m

The structure: the 2011 project

Work doesn't start from scratch. It starts from the final project of 2011, which will be adapted to the new technical, safety and environmental standards, and from the authorizations already obtained in 2012 relating to rail and road junctions. The idea is to start from the project with two pylons, one in Sicily and one in Calabria, and without supports in the middle, with a single span.

Ministry of Infrastructure

Diagram of the possible types of stable crossing of the Strait of Messina

Where the bridge will rise: the location of the Strait of Messina

According to the "Evaluation of alternative solutions for the stable crossing system of the Strait of Messina" drawn up by the Working Group of 30 April 2021, "from the studies conducted over the years, as well as from the considerations that emerged during the hearings with privileged witnesses, it emerged that the plausible locations for a stable connection of the Strait of Messina fall mainly within two macro-areas":

a localization area 1, i.e. in that area close to the narrowest stretch of separation between Sicily and the continent, between Punta Pezzo (Rc) and Ganzirri (Me);

a localization area 2, or in the area closest to a direct access to the center of Messina, between Concesso (Rc) and Falcata (Me).

processing on Google Maps

Possible localization areas for a stable connection of the Strait of Messina

But what will the bridge look like?

It will be a suspension bridge with a single span of 3.2 km, the total of 3.6. The width of the deck will be 60.4 m. The idea is to start from the project abandoned in 2012: the one with two pylons, one in Sicily and one in Calabria, and without supports in the middle. The structure would be unique in the world: on the Sicilian side, near the village of Ganzirri, a tower almost 400 meters high should rise on the mainland. At the other end of the strait, an identical pylon should provide the second support to the bridge, forming a single arch about 3.3 kilometers long.

The viability

The bridge provides a road and rail connection. There are six road lanes on the road: three in each direction (fast, normal, emergency). With a traffic intensity of six thousand vehicles per hour.

The railway system will instead be articulated two tracks to allow the passage of 200 trains a day. "The lack of a stable connection - reads the 2021 report - greatly penalizes the quality of transport services, especially rail services (passengers and freight) that require long maneuvers for train segmentation and subsequent loading and unloading maneuvers".

Here is an example of what the intermodal hubs of Messina and Reggio Calabria would look like after the works.

: RFI and BluJet

Example of intermodal hub redevelopment of Messina

RFI and BluJet

Example of redevelopment of intermodal hub of Reggio Calabria

Only three kilometers separating the two coasts and years of work, discussions, failed projects and resources employed. The story told by Porta a Porta.