Statale 640 the light at the end of the tunnel

Statale 640, the light at the end of the tunnel: The longest tunnel in Sicily La Sicilia almost finished

Of course, very certainly, yes probably: to complete the work on the former expressway 640 in the section that goes from Caltanissetta to the Palermo-Catania motorway junction, you will have to wait until the end of the year, while for all the other ancillary works (renovation of carpets , asphalt, signs, flower beds) it must arrive at the end of 2024.

In fact, there are “signs” more reassuring in Caltanissetta, arriving both from Anas and from the base camp of the “Cmc” in the Bigini district, where work is in full swing to complete the modernization works of the former 640 expressway, which with a journey of just over 70 kilometers from Agrigento away it reaches the A19 motorway: on April 6, 2012, an important work began, which in the end could have a total cost of around 1.5 billion euros and finally – what was renamed “The Street of Writers” and which currently employs 150 workers and about thirty employees (but it will be inevitable to resort to other workers) – is beginning to have a concrete “end of work” date.

Even if another 150 million euros are needed are found with additional funds, the “problems” of an economic nature that the Ravenna company had last summer seem to have been solved for the moment. For seven months, since the arrival of the new technical manager Andrea Sanulli alongside the manager of “Empedocle 2” Antonio Finamore in Caltanissetta, activities around the route up to the “A 19” have been intensified.

When the duplication of the former SS 640 will be completed Motorists have an opportunity to take advantage of works that are not only useful, but also spectacular. In particular, the “Caltanissetta” tunnel, which is being completed on the outskirts of the capital, Caltanissetta, and the two bridges being built to replace the “San Giuliano” viaduct, which had become unsafe and was partially demolished three years ago as a result of a landslide that damaged the pylons on the damaged base.

The operational part 3 (with a total length of 6.5 km) – explains the new technical director – includes many of the most demanding works, in particular the entire “Caltanissetta” tunnel (with 4 km length and with 9 x 2 the longest tunnel in Sicily). -Passages between the tunnels in both directions; two bypasses are intended for possible emergencies for the passage of cars and trucks and seven for pedestrians). In the left “tube” towards Agrigento, the first 500 meters of the road structure are being built, while in the right tube towards the motorway, work is also being done on the penultimate of the seven pedestrian bypasses. We also prepare the logistics to provide the materials for the plants. This gallery should be ready by the end of the year».

Another complex structure and, unpublished and beautiful to look at in these parts, is the one that concerned the rebuilding of the “San Giuliano” bridge, which in its new version has been divided into two independent and parallel “aisles”: the first that enters the direction of Agrigento actually becomes to an arch bridge with a metal span 170 meters long. It is currently being set up “push” as it is built on the ground and then placed on the span with tows where it needs to be finally positioned and that is why it has a whole series of “pushes” that make it slide floating in the air and rests on a temporary stack currently in the center until placed in its final location. Upon completion, a huge arch will remain. Also, for the bridge on the right leading towards the A19, the deck that is the hanging structure is currently being formed; next week we will continue the work and complete the phase of pouring the reinforced concrete. “We assume that these two plants will also be completed by the end of 2023.”

The same goes for the other sections, where the work is already at an advanced stage of construction. “The first of these – continues Andrea Sanulli – the one that arrives from “Grottarossa” at the Delia-Sommatino junction (7.8 km long) is nearing completion and we are now in the process of installing a more modern way of signage horizontal. In the second section of the road that goes from the Delia-Sommatino junction to Caltanissetta Sud (near the “Sant’Elia” tunnel, 4.9 km long and almost finished, editor’s note), the Lighting work will be carried out and the fire protection of the “Papazzo” tunnel and the placement of the metal barriers on the parallel roads will be completed, which will remain in charge of the small road network of the municipalities. We are also going into the 296-meter-long artificial tunnel “Bersaglio” and are working on the completion of the reinforced concrete partitions used to avoid truck collisions».

«At the same time – concludes the coach – We are also working on the definition of the “Arenella 3” viaduct where the metal deck must be built, for which we have made a request to the companies that carry out these specific works. Finally, work is underway to finish the last deck that leads to the “A 19” and concerns the 1,200 meter long “Salso” viaduct, where all the foundations have already been made: we are now dealing with the support systems to create the pulvinos that will support the horizontal beams that hold the bridge and support it at a great height”.