The Pedemontana Lombarda Motorway (Autostrada Pedemontana Lombarda) project involves the construction of 67km of motorway, 20km of bypass roads and 70km of road connections to solve congestion in the north of Milan, Italy.

The motorway will connect five provinces, including Bergamo, Monza e Brianza, Milan, Como, and Varese. The project is regarded as a strategic work of national importance to further boost the economic and regional development of these provinces, which are home to approximately 300,000 businesses and generate approximately 10% of the national GDP.

It also forms part of the country’s preparatory activities to host the EXPO 2015 Universal Exposition in Milan from May to October. The inaugurated routes will be free for access during the event.

The project is being developed by Autostrada Pedemontana Lombarda, a consortium comprised Milano Serravalle – Milano Tangenziali (78.97%), Equiter (13.36%), Intesa Sanpaolo (4.01%), UBI Banca (3.34%), and Par. Cop. Soc. Cons. (0.32%). The overall cost of the project is an estimated €3.5bn (approximately $3.7bn).

Pedemontana Lombarda Motorway details

The new 67km-long motorway will stretch from Cassano Magnago to Osio Sotto, and connect with the existing stretches of the A8 Milano-Varese, A9 Milano-Como and A4 Torino-Venezia motorways. The route is further divided into five sections.

Section A will stretch 15km between A8 and A9 motorways (Cassano Magnago to Lomazzo), Section B1 will stretch 7.5km from the A9 junction to SP ex SS 35 road, Section B2 will stretch 9.5km from Lentate sul Seveso to Cesano Maderno, and Section C will stretch 16.5km from Cesano Maderno to the junction of Tangenziale Est / A51 motorway. Section D will stretch 18.5km from Tangenziale Est/A51 to the A4 motorway at Osio Sotto, Bergamo.

“The project is regarded as a strategic work of national importance to further boost the economic and regional development of five Italian provinces.”

The 20km-long bypass roads will comprise an 11km stretch in Como and a 9km stretch in Varese. They are being built in different sections. The first section of the Varese bypass stretches approximately 4.5km from A8 (Gazzada Schianno) to the bridge at Vedano Olona, while the second section stretches 6km from Folla di Malnate to the Gaggiolo pass.

The first section of Como bypass stretches 3km from A9 (Grandate) to the junction at Acquanegra, while the second section stretches 6km from the Acquanegra junction to Cassano (SS 342).

Built mostly underground, Section C will feature three lanes in each direction, while the remaining sections of the motorway and the bypass roads of Como and Varese will feature two lanes a direction. The 70km-long related roads will comprise one lane in each direction.

Pedemontana Lombarda Motorway construction

The construction is currently being performed under two separate contracts. Section A of the motorway and the first lots of the two bypass roads form the first part, while the construction of the sections B1, B2, C and D of the motorway, and the second section of the bypass roads form the second contract.

Section A of the motorway and the first section of the Varese bypass were completed in January 2015, while the first section of the Como bypass is close to completion.

Almost three-quarters of the motorway are being built below the ground level. The overall project will involve the construction of 31km of civil engineering structures, 30 viaducts, 58 overpasses, 50 artificial tunnels, two natural tunnels, 74 underpasses and 100km of pedestrian / bicycle path (greenway).

Free-Flow toll collection system

Pedemontana Lombarda Motorway will be the first Italian motorway to implement electronic free-flow toll collection system, which does not require tollgates and toll booths. The system is designed using optical vehicle licence plate readers and strategically located microwave detectors, which automatically read the vehicles along the route.

Contractors involved with the Italian motorway project

The general contractor for Section A and the first lots of the two bypass roads is the Consorzio PedeLombarda consortium, which is comprised Salini Impregilo (47%), Astaldi (24%), Impresa Pizzarotti (18%) and Itinera (11%). The total contract value of these three sections is €930m (approximately $980m).

The design for Sections B1, B2, C and D of the motorway, and that of the second section of the bypass roads was performed by Consorzio CIIL, a consortium of Technital, Idroesse Infrastrutture, Girpa, E.T.S, Errevia, SPM Consulting, and Proginvest.

In February 2012, the €1.7bn (approximately $1.8bn) contract for the construction of sections B1, B2, C and D was awarded to a consortium led by Strabag (60%), and its partners Grandi Lavori Fincosit (26%) and Impresa Costruzioni Giuseppe Maltauro (14%).

The preliminary design and environmental pre-feasibility study for the project’s artificial tunnels, bridges, viaducts and overpasses, and the roadway paving were performed by Alpina, Spea, Proiter, Geodata, Pool Infrastrutture, Erre.Vi.A and Centro Studi PIM.

Low and medium-voltage Afumex cables for the project are being supplied by Prysmian Group.