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The bridge to Sicily will be built after all. The Italians will spend €12 billion on the crossing!

A bridge to Sicily has been planned for decades. Connecting Italy’s largest island to the mainland could be the largest infrastructure investment in Italy’s modern history. Despite its huge economic importance for the entire region, the project was repeatedly postponed, blocked until it was finally abandoned in 2013, when Italians were struggling with mounting debt and the vision of a prolonged economic recession. Exactly 10 years after these events, the Minister of Economy, Giancarlo Giorgetti, announced the reactivation of the project. He also gave specific dates and amounts!

The bridge to Sicily, according to the Italian Ministry of Economy, is to be built within a few years. The government will allocate more than €12 billion (over: PLN 43 billion). According to Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti, the bridge across the Strait of Messina is a priority project for the country, which is why the first three financial tranches will be disbursed to the companies that will build the crossing by 2026

The bridge will connect the eastern part of Sicily with the southern tip of Calabria. As Reuters notes, the bridge would be around 5km long and include a 3.3km central span – easily beating the current record 2.02km central span on the Canakkale Bridge in Turkey. Last month, a consortium led by Italian group Webuild (WBD.MI) announced that it had delivered a renewed version of the project, updated in line with the latest technological developments and technical regulations. The bridge connecting Sicily to the mainland will allow both cars and trains to cross. Currently, access to the island is only possible by sea

Italians are divided over the construction of the bridge. Some – particularly Sicilians – support the construction, as it will enable the rapid transport of goods and people between the mainland and the island. This could boost the economy, trade and tourism. Opponents of the bridge’s construction point out that the cost is gigantic and the investment will never pay off. Moreover, critics question the wisdom of building a bridge in an active earthquake zone and those who argue that it would be a waste of money detrimental to the landscape and ecosystem

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