The Strait of Messina is two miles wide which means that when completed it will be the longest suspension bridge ever built. The new bridge will be more than 60% longer than the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge in Japan, currently the world’s longest suspension bridge.
The bridge will be 60 metres wide and will have 12 lanes for traffic and two lanes in the middle for trains. This will allow 140,000 vehicles and 200 trains to travel over the bridge each day. This will cut down transit times of up to 12 hours down to minutes.
The Strait of Messina bridge project has been underway since 2006, however debate about budgets and funding for the £3 bn bridge meant that between 2006-2008 the project was terminated. However when he was elected as Prime Minister in 2008 Silvio Berlusconi promised to quickly restart the project. Work began on the bridge once again in 2008.
This project, if completed, would stand as one of the landmark bridges of the 21st century. There is still debate however surrounding its feasibility, its environmental impact, and whether or not it could withstand earthquakes.
Construction is scheduled to be completed by 2012.