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Contract win on Naples-Bari high speed rail link 09 Mar 2017

Patrick Reynolds for TunnelTalk

A joint venture of Salini-Impregilo and Astaldi is awarded a large contract on the new high speed rail line in Italy between Naples and Cancello that includes a 4.2km long underground section.

Fig 1.  Route of the Naples-Cancello Lot with its high speed rail tunnel
Fig 1. Route of the Naples-Cancello Lot with its high speed rail tunnel

The Naples-Cancello Lot on the western end of the new Naples-Bari high speed rail project and near Naples has a total length of 15.5km and a contract value of €397 million, said the JV which is led by Salini Impregilo (60%).

Running across the country from Naples to the port of Bari on the Adriatic Sea has a full project development budget of about €6.2 billion.

The JV will design and construct the elements on its awarded contract for Italian state rail authority Italferr on behalf of the national rail authority Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI). In addition to the single-tube, twin-track tunnel, the package includes surface track, viaducts, an underground station at Casalnuovo, two further surface stations at Acerra and Centro Commerciale, and a tie-in to the interchange station at Napoli Afragola station (Fig 1).

The package of works is due to be completed by 2022.

The underground Monte Aglio Tunnel has a total length of 4,195m and includes 337m in cut-and-cover and portal approach structures. The 3,858m of mined tunnel is a horseshoe-shaped cross-section of 7.55m clearance above the rail tracks. Safety recess niches are to be included at 250m intervals and a number of emergency exit adits are required along the tunnel alignment.

The geology is a historic combination of alluvial, fluvial and volcanic deposits, with Mount Vesuvius not far from the construction location. Soft rock, limestone, with varying bedding, and some breccias, marls and clays are to be encountered beneath a cover of 30m to 300m. Support will comprise rockbolts, steel ribs and fibre-reinforced shotcrete as required by ground conditions.

Further tunnel work is required on the line. The scheme is one of a number of projects being pushed ahead by Italy through its 2014 Sblocca Italia (Unblock Italy) legislation, aimed to both simplify and accelerate investment in key infrastructure across the country.

The Naples-Bari link is effectively a branch off the main axis of the high speed rail network being developed to run down through the length of Italy. The route is also part of the strategic Scandinavia-Mediterranean Corridor transport corridor of the European Union Trans-European Network (TEN-T) programme which are being supported with signnificant funding support from the EU.

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