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Floating bridge

Articolo in italiano

Arch. Mor Temor

Floating bridge over the Strait of Messina: why?

Unique concept.

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..

Image project

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 Sicilian economy."

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.

Floating Inhabited Bridge.

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[1].

[1] 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.

The main 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 configuration 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 Etna volcanoes. 

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.  

c)      The Floating 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 region. 

e)      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 Sicily town will not be necessary.  

f)       Environmental impact of the Floating Inhabited Bridge is far less than by other methods.


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.
Mor Temor Architect

Bibliography   ( pdf )

Curriculum  arch. Mor Temor

The movie:

Drawings Floating bridge - Copyright arch. Mor Temor - All rights reserved

Strutture portanti

Ponte di Calatrava a Venezia



Disegni del progetto




Altri progetti dell'arch. Mor Temor: Dehors


Forme antiche rivisitate in chiave moderna

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