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Excavation Works Begin on New Lot of Brenner Base Tunnel in Austria

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Overview of the whole Brenner Base Tunnel system

Overview of the whole Brenner Base Tunnel system between Austria in the North (left) and Italy in the South (right) (Source: BBT SE)

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 for a railway at 64 km. 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 entity that is 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).

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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.

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 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 22.5 kilometres of thetwo 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.

Webuild is already working on other lots of the Brenner Base Tunnel, including the Isarco River Underpass and Mules 2-3 in Italy after having completed Tulfes-Pfons in Austria. It is also building the railway between Fortezza and Ponte Gardena south of the tunnel.

Webuild has a track record that includes the construction of more than 13,600 kilometres of rail and metro lines, more than 80,200 kilometres of roads and highways, 946 kilometres of bridge and viaducts, and more than 2,300 kilometres of tunnels and other underground spaces. The Group’s latest projects include high-speed/high-capacity rail lines to improve connections throughout Italy, such as the Terzo Valico dei Giovi-Genoa Junction between the port of Genoa and the rest of Europe, a line between Verona and Padua, and several lots along a line being built between Naples and Bari. In Sicily, it is working on improving the rail network between Palermo and Catania.

The Group is working on 15 projects that will become part of the TEN-T: approximately 400 kilometres of roads and rail lines joining five Corridors across Europe.

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