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Italy. They want to demolish 450 houses to build a bridge between Calabria and Sicily

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450 houses are scheduled for demolition in Sicily and Calabria in areas where construction sites for a bridge across the Strait of Messina will be built, Italian local authorities announced as the procedure for acquiring these areas began. Construction of the bridge is scheduled to start this year.

The bridge, which has been planned for many years, will be 3.6 kilometers long. It will connect the communes of Villa San Giovanni in Calabria and Messina in Sicily. The total investment cost is estimated at EUR 11 billion. Giorgia Meloni's government agreed to start work in March last year. In Italy, there are many opponents of this investment, the implementation of which has been postponed many times before.

They want to demolish 450 houses

The media reported that the company that is to build the bridge is accelerating procedures to be able to start work. The first stage is the preparation of construction sites, and this requires the demolition of houses spread over an area of ​​3.7 million square meters: 300 residential buildings in Sicily and 150 in Calabria. As announced, starting from April 8, people living in areas subject to the expropriation procedure will have 60 days to read the documentation and present their opinions. Providing information about the commencement of this stage of the project implementation sparked protests from residents associated in the “Network 'no for the bridge'” committee. They announced a battle, saying: “We will agree on what actions we will take, they will certainly be legal steps to protect the area and allow people to stay in their homes.” – I won't go anywhere from here – said Mariolina De Francesco, a resident of Messina, as quoted by the press. She added: – If I had to give up my house for an oncology hospital, I would. But not for something so unnecessary.

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The largest investment of recent decades in Italy

The suspension bridge at a height of about 60 meters, if built, will be the largest investment in recent decades in Italy. In 2009, preliminary work began in Villa San Giovanni in Calabria, consisting of changing the route of the railway line to make room for one of the towers of the future bridge. In the first years, over EUR 600 million was spent for this purpose. The structure is to withstand wind gusts exceeding 200 kilometers per hour and an earthquake with a magnitude above 7. In 2023, the then minister Nello Musumeci, responsible for the southern regions and maritime policy, expressed the opinion that the bridge was not a “whim” but “needed solution for the continuation of the corridor that is to lead from northern Europe to Palermo.

The construction of the bridge connecting the mainland with Sicily is scheduled for completion in 2030.

Main photo source: 1234zoom/Shutterstock



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