A new proposal has surfaced for the construction of a crossing for the Messina Strait in Italy. A committee has been put together by Italy’s Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport to analyse a range of solutions.
Numerous proposals have been made for such a crossing in the past, with projects having not progressed beyond the concept stage. Cost has been the major barrier to any of these actually reaching the design and construction stage. At the narrowest point, the Messina Strait is 3.1km-wide by 250m-deep and there are also strong tidal currents to contend with.
The three options being put forward are for a bridge, a subsea tunnel or a submerged tunnel. However, the depth of the water combined with the strong currents would make the bridge option particularly difficult to design and construct. To put the challenge of constructing bridge towers in context, these would have to be around the height of the Eiffel Tower, 300m, to clear the surface and also to support the structure.