The Strait of Messina, its beautiful
nature and its rich and long history, deserves a bridge of
great architectural value. Deserves a work of art unique in
its kind, like the Tower of Pisa and the Ponte Vecchio in
Florence, the Piazza di San Marco in Venice, etc..
So far, i think, no one has thought to
give the Bridge in the Strait its true value. All the
designers have only thought of a traditional bridge, to pass
the passengers from side to side.
The "state of the art" bridge (3,3 km span) which was
considered by the designers the best of all the proposals,
has never been realized until now. Many researchers have
examined the subject and tried to give answers.
I want to mention here some of them.
The authors of "Geological
and stability aspects for the Messina Strait Bridge",
Alessandro Guerricchio and Maurice Ponte (University of
Reggio Calabria, 2006), have concluded their research with
the statement: "The slope stability analysis carried out
for the gelogical section traced according to the Bridge
axis in non-seismic conditions furnishes a safety factor
value a little greater than 1, which means that the slope is
very close to a critical condition. The same analysis,
carried out refferring to a pseudostatic condition furnishes
a safety factor less than 1. Due to the depth of the slip
surfaces (some of which exceed 250 meters) it is very
difficult to plan slope stabilization works to allow the
building of the tower.".
The author of the article "Erroneous
Mistakes and Solutions in Urban Planning: The Project for a
Bridge over the Straits of Messina", Guido Signorino
(University of Messina, 2004) wrote: "In this section, i
will briefly synthesize some of the many reasons why the
project appears completely uneconomical, both in a local and
in a national perspective. At a local level, the bridge
reduces social welfare because of environmental and
congestion costs. Environmental costs of the bridge relate
to its impact on the urban ecosphere: a) the natural reserve
of Ganzirri (a European Communitary Interest Site) will be
irreparably damaged; b) five or six sites to store more than
5 million m3 of residuals from the excavation works are
localized in very dangerous positions, on the slopes of the
Peloritani mountains, adjacent to residential parts of the
town. In addition the bridge will be built 15 kms from the
city centre, a total of 25.7 kms of railway and roadway
tunnels and viaducts will connect the bridge with the most
central areas of the town. The conclusion of the economic
analysis of the project is definitely negative, because of:
a) mistakes in traffic forecasts; b) under-estimation of
investment costs; c) inaccuracies in cost-benefit analysis;
d) negative consequences for the public balance and the
From the above mentioned, it is clear
that the italian government should strive to find much more
convenient alternative, economically and financially
sustainable, in the same time socially more desirable.
I, perhaps, have one.
Ordinary bridges and tunnels (underground
and submerged) were studied and evaluated to solve the
problem of the Straits of Messina from various researchers.
No doubt it was concluded that these structures are not able
to make feasible the italian dream.
To realize the bridge
is necessary to think differently. A Floating Inhabited
Bridge. This is a unique concept of its kind, came to the
world thanks to three years of laborious research done by me
on floating structures.
Now Arch. Mor Temor
achieve a PhD at the "Technion" of Israel Institute
of Technology, where the research is followed by
prof. Michael Burt and prof. Yehiel Rosenfeld. The
argument of the research is on Floating Bridges, and
the 'Case Study' is on the Messina Bridge. Arch. Mor
Temor so fascinated of Italy, that he decided to
bring the research on the Messina Bridge beyond what
was required at the "Technion": to propose in
general the idea of a Inhabited Floating Bridge.
characteristics of the Floating Inhabited Bridge
proposed by me as an alternative to solve the problem of the
Strait are as follows:
a)It uses water as
foundation for the bridge decks and pylon. The proposed
rests on huge concrete Floating
Inhabited units foundations that would be used as a support
of commerce, hotels, work spaces, parking, parks, ecc.
generating more than 3,000,000 m² of built space assets
within the two arches-steel Living Decks that would be used
also as a support of built habitable volumes of dwelling
(see the movie:
A Floating foundations unit is chosen because of water depth
more than 100 m and bedrock lies more than 250-m below the
seabed, which makes conventional piled structure extremely
expensive. Another reason for choosing floating foundations
units is the seismic hazards dictated by proximity to the
b)It can be
constructed in a shipyard and floated (the Floating
Platforms) comprising spans and pylon to the designated
water crossing, erected and finished on site. So, saving
costs and construction time.
Bridge will be financed by the sale of inhabited units, over
3,000,000 square meters of living space.
d) The economic
benefit of constructing the Messina Strait Bridge will be
felt nation wide as a result of better crossing facilities
between Regio di Calabria and Messina cities, facilitating
rapid regional development on both sides of the Strait,
particularly in the tourism, industrial and natural
resources development sectors. During construction local
economic boom will emerge, as the various activities
supporting the bridge construction will mobilize a huge
amount of fund and forces benefiting the welfare of the
Thanks to the proposed Floating
Bridge, the location of the bridge across the Strait of
Messina no more depends on the minimum distance between
Sicily and Calabria in order to assure that tower
foundations are built on dry-lands.
The total of 25.7 kms of
railway and roadway tunnels and viaducts that was suggested
to connect the bridge with the most central areas of the
town will not be necessary.
impact of the Floating Inhabited Bridge is far less than by
The project was sent to the Italian
Ministry of Infrastructures by mail on 15 November 2009 and,
until now no response. I hope that the italian government
examine the bridge as viable alternative.