Postponed closure of the Mont Blanc tunnel: Italy-France agreement

Postponed closure of the Mont Blanc tunnel: Italy-France agreement

Valle d’Aosta by Marco Cremonesi The worst scenario, that of the almost sealed north-west, seems to have been averted: the Mont Blanc tunnel will remain open. It should have closed next Monday until December 18, close to Christmas. But Wednesday evening’s videoconference between Infrastructure Minister Matteo Salvini and his French colleague Clment Beaune unblocked the situation. The decision with all the details will arrive only on Monday, from the Italian-French Intergovernmental Conference. But both ministers have announced the substance. Matteo Salvini recalled that the Frejus tunnel is closed due to a landslide, Mont Blanc is in danger of closing due to works, the Gotthard where there was a derailment. Here we really risk being blocked. The goal, Salvini continues, is to reopen Frejus as soon as possible, although obviously on the French front the French will decide it, but I asked the courtesy to postpone the work on Mont Blanc because otherwise there will be chaos. Yesterday, the waiting time to enter the tunnel was about an hour. Salvini also released another statement: If we add to this the Austrian arrogance that forbids the entry of lorries from all over the world into Austria, creating enormous environmental, social and economic problems, it will be demanding hours. But, precisely, on the other side of the Alps, the French minister confirms: We will postpone the works that were planned in the Mont Blanc tunnel – said Beaune -. I talked about it with my Italian counterpart Salvini also because it is also an Italian request. We will postpone the work for at least a few days. The start of the works will be linked to the reopening of the A 43 (the motorway which goes from Lyon to Frejus) . There will not be the closure of the Frejus and Mont Blanc tunnels at the same time: it would be unsustainable. Salvini and Beaune have also agreed, according to a note from MIT, to hold a meeting on the sidelines of the Barcelona Transport Ministerial on September 21-22 and to organize a joint inspection of the Turin-Lyon construction sites shortly. When, on the other hand, the Mont Blanc tunnel will close, it will only be learned on Monday. In fact, the most probable hypothesis is that the work to redo the reinforced concrete vault of the 12 km of tunnel will probably be postponed to September 2024. Also because, as the Aosta Valley governor Renzo Testolin said, the tunnel will still have to be open for the holidays of Christmas, when the tourist influx is at its maximum. The president of the Turin hauliers (Fai) Enzo D’Alicantro Pompilio was satisfied, adding: Now the government and the Piedmont Region must make another effort to avoid blocking the circulation of Euro 5 diesel vehicles. In the meantime, the last section of the Turin-Lyon line has been awarded. The consortium led by Itinera, with Ghella and Spie Batignolles, will build the Moncenisio base tunnel in Italy. The award of all works for the 57.5 km tunnel completed. Subscribe to the newsletter of The Economy Whatever it Takes by Federico Fubini The challenges for the economy and markets in an unstable world Europe Matters by Francesca Basso and Viviana Mazza Europe, the United States and Italy that count, with innovations and important decisions, but also the small stories of importance One More Thing by Massimo Sideri From the world of science and technological innovation the news that changes our lives (more than we think) And don’t forget the newsletters L’Economia Opinioni and The Economy 6 pm 31 Aug 2023 © REPRODUCTION RESERVED

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