Santa Lucia Tunnel

Lot 2 – A1 Santa Lucia Tunnel – Third lane widening – Barberino di Mugello – Firenze Nord stretch

The project to widen the Barberino di Mugello – Firenze Nord stretch of Barberino di Mugello – Incisa Valdarno to three lanes is being implemented between marker 261+503 (corresponding to the Barberino di Mugello exit) and marker 279+000 (about 700 metres South of the Calenzano/Sesto Fiorentino exit) on the current A1 Milan – Naples motorway. It is part of the project to upgrade the motorway between Sasso Marconi and Incisa Valdarno, forming the initial Apennine stretch towards Florence, which is also the most challenging due to the morphology and environmental characteristics of the terrain involved.

The widening of the 17.5 km motorway stretch under consideration involves the construction of a new carriageway with three lanes and an emergency lane to the south, and the construction of a single 7.7-kilometre tunnel (Lot 2) called “Santa Lucia”, which will ensure a one-way traffic flow on this section.

The excavation is carried out with a 15.935 m diameter earth pressure balance shielded tunnel boring machine: the largest tunnel boring machine built for a European project.

A1 motorway, Santa Lucia Tunnel opened today: the longest three-lane tunnel in Europe

The new 17.5 km route will become a natural continuation of the Variante di Valico, a deviation of the Italian A1 motorway. It will open on Saturday 19 March. This new infrastructure upgrades one of the country’s busiest junctions

Drivers will be able to save time, travel more comfortably and safely, and traffic on the motorway network will be significantly reduced. The new three-lane stretch of the A1 motorway – from the Barberino exit to the Firenze Nord exit (heading south) – is a €1 billion pledge, and we can see that it is of great strategic importance just by looking at the map of Italy. Following yesterday’s inauguration, this new stretch will be opened this afternoon and is expected to reduce travel time by 30%. It boasts one of Italy’s greatest engineering achievements when it comes to major infrastructure: the “Santa Lucia tunnel, the largest in Europe”, which crosses the Apennines and runs for 8 kilometres along the central stretch of this new road, which is just over 20 kilometres long.

The project

This €1 billion project aims to streamline traffic flows on the main road junction between Northern and Central-Southern Italy, reducing travel time by 30%. From the afternoon of 19 March, the new three-lane section of the A1 motorway between Barberino di Mugello and Firenze Nord (in the southbound direction) will open to traffic: the new 17.5 km route will become the natural continuation of the Variante di Valico, a deviation of the Italian A1 motorway. It includes the “largest tunnel in Europe”, which is 7.5 km long and has three lanes. The presentation was attended by Giuliano Mari and Roberto Tomasi – respectively President and CEO of Autostrade per l’Italia, Eugenio Giani – President of the Tuscany Regional Government, Stefano Bonaccini – President of the Emilia-Romagna Regional Government, Dario Nardella – Mayor of the Metropolitan City of Florence, Giampiero Mongatti – Mayor of Barberino di Mugello, Riccardo Prestini – Mayor of Calenzano, and all the mayors of the area crossed by the motorway.

This new infrastructure upgrades one of the country’s busiest junctions, increasing the capacity of this motorway stretch, which on average sees more than 100 vehicles passing every minute during rush hour. As a result, the improved traffic flow will save the community 1.5 million hours a year and reduce travel time by 30%. The reduction in queues and stop-and-go traffic will also reduce CO2 emissions by 2,000 tonnes a year. An average of 500 workers, among men and women, worked on the project every day, totalling 6 million hours.

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April 5, 2022

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