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Webuild Reaches Milestone on Brenner Base Tunnel

Webuild has achieved an important milestone on the Mules construction site on the Italian side of the Brenner Base Tunnel. The tunnel boring machine (TBM) “Virginia” completed its excavation of the tunnel for the eastern line, arriving at the border with Austria. Present at the event to celebrate its accomplishment was Italian Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Matteo Salvini; members of the BBT Management Council Gilberto Cardola and Martin Gradnitzer; Rete Ferroviaria Italiana Chief Executive Vera Fiorani; and Webuild Chief Executive Pietro Salini.

With this milestone, Webuild has completed 91 percent of the excavations on the Mules 2-3 section, which was the most challenging part of the entire project, commissioned by BBT SE, a public limited company created to oversee the project.

“This work site, the longest railway tunnel in the world, reflects the vision of two countries – Italy and Austria – with the support of Europe for a strategic project. TBM Virginia has completed its journey, having overcome difficult conditions under the mountain. It has done its job to the satisfaction of the client, public authorities and every one of us who has remained committed to doing our respective jobs the best of way we can every single day – in safety. With the recently approved public works code – for which we thank the government – we will be able to develop in Italy other valuable projects by reducing complexities like bureaucracy that often slow down the execution of a project. This will help get the country back on its feet with the right infrastructure,” Webuild wrote in a press release.

The Brenner Base Tunnel will connect Italia and Austria under the Alps, from Fortezza to Innsbruck, reducing travel times by 70 percent: from 80 minutes to 25 minutes. With its 64 km in length, it will play a strategic role as a key part of the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). “Virginia” excavated 14 km under the Alps in less than four years, its journey having begun in 2019 on the Mules work site on Italian soil. It proceeded at a daily average speed of 10.2 m.

The Brenner Base Tunnel will be along the Munich-Verona axis, along which Webuild is working on five projects after having completed a sixth one. In addition to Mules 2-3 on the Italian side where Ghella is also taking part, Webuild is completing the Isarco River Underpass. On the Austrian side, it completed Tulfes-Pfons and begun work on Gola del Sill-Pfons. In Italy, it is working on the Fortezza-Ponte Gardena rail line and the rail bypass in Trento that will connect Fortezza and Trento.

The Brenner Base Tunnel is a great opportunity to develop the region and has served as a big source of employment and innovation for the sector. For the construction of the lots under Webuild, including the connection between Fortezza and Trento, there has been more than 1,600 jobs, direct and indirect, created, with a supply chain of more than 1,350 suppliers since the beginning of works.

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