As of 03/17/2023 4:07 PM
Sicily linked to mainland Italy by a bridge? The corresponding plans have failed many times, and now the government about Meloni is getting serious. Critics consider the project risky not only because of the earthquake risk.
After many years of back and forth, the Italian government plans to build a bridge connecting mainland Italy with Sicily. And the government of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni passed a similar decree on Thursday evening, providing for “urgent measures to build a stable connection between Sicily and Calabria”.
Transport Minister Matteo Salvini said the bridge “will represent the Italian engineering flagship”. He spoke of “a historic day not only for Calabria and Sicily, but for all of Italy.” “They will not stop us this time,” he said in a statement, recalling his government’s plans many years ago.
The bridge aims to connect the Italian mainland with the Mediterranean island.
Photo: ARD News
Critics talk about a ‘waste of resources’
According to the ANSA news agency, critics accuse the government of “wasting resources”. Environmentalists reject the plans because of the “extremely high environmental and financial costs”.
Several Italian governments have previously discussed a bridge project across the Strait of Messina, the strait between the southern Italian region of Calabria and Sicily. Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi last campaigned for it in the early 2000s.
However, nothing came of the plans. At the time, critics deemed it unnecessary and dangerous due to the earthquake risks in the area.
One of the longest cable-stayed bridges in the world
The bridge is about 3.2 kilometers long and will be one of the longest cable-supported bridges in the world, according to Salvini. The idea of constructing this bridge dates back to the time of the Roman Empire. Until now, Sicily could only be reached from the mainland by air or by ferry.
Parliament now has two months to turn the decree into law. According to Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, construction should begin as early as 2024.