Green light for the construction of key Brenner Tunnel access route 03/04/23

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The Trento bypass, a key element to provide access to the Brenner Base Tunnel on the Italian side, has been greenlit for construction. This signal came after studies confirmed no environmental risks for workers and residents.


This bypass is vital, as it is part of the Verona-Fortezza railway line, which will give access to the south entrance of the Brenner Base Tunnel (BBT) once it is ready. The BBT is one of the main projects for the TEN-T Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor and is supposed to be up and running in 2032. As a spokesperson from RFI mentioned to, works for the Trento bypass are expected to be done in 2026, with the line being active by December of that year.

The plan for the Trento bypass was announced in 2021. In September 2022, Italian infrastructure manager Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) launched a procurement for 960 million euros for the project. Out of the total investment, 930 million euros will be financed through the Italian Recovery and Resilience Facility. The contracts were awarded to Italian construction company Webuild, which is also in charge of the BBT excavations.

The Trento bypass

The works for the Trento bypass will consist of the realisation of a new double-track railway line, roughly 13 kilometres long, 11 of which will be in a tunnel. The new section will link Acquaviva, south of Trento, with Roncafort, in the north of the city. Here, the line will be connected to the Verona-Brenner line, which gives access to Austria and consequently the rest of Europe. This tunnel, christened the Trento Tunnel, will be dug by using four Tunnel Boring Machines at the same time, saving significant time. Moreover, noise-reduction barriers will be installed along 3,1 kilometres of the construction site.

The Brenner Base Tunnel has reached the Austrian border

RFI has recently announced that the digging of the tunnel on the Italian side has reached the border with Austria. Other than the people in the working crews, the credit for this part of the project goes to Virginia, the Tunel-Boring Machine that dig 14 kilometres in four years. As the Italian IM highlighted, 70 per cent of the tunnels, equalling to 157 kilometres, have been completed. Thanks to the tunnel and the Trento bypass, reaching Innsbruck from Fortezza will take 25 minutes instead of 80 once all the infrastructure will be ready.

Image: © Webuild


Author: Marco Raimondi