Sicily, high capacity trains among the strategic assets for the relaunch of the region

Businesses and citizens await the major works that will profoundly change the island's road system

Sicily at high speed. This is the best way to recover competitiveness. This is what the companies present on the island say, which, above all, are loudly requesting the completion of the high-capacity railways Palermo-Catania and Catania-Messina. The large infrastructure that for the first time in its history will bring high-speed trains to the island and on which the Webuild Group is working, is one of the strategic assets for the revival of Sicily.

According to a survey by Unioncamere Sicilia, presented last February 1st, the KPI index applied to the quality of infrastructure is 81.2, lower than the national average and that of Southern Italy.

Even in the South, Sicily – according to Unioncamere’s surveys – lags behind Campania, Puglia, and Abruzzo. This data explains how strategic the infrastructural projects currently being implemented are, in addition to those announced in recent months.

In August, the Ministry of Infrastructure outlined the total amount of investments planned over the coming years to develop the island’s mobility. According to the Ministry, aside from the project for the construction of the Bridge over the Strait, Sicily has 15 billion euros of investments planned for road mobility, “with particular attention to the connecting state roads, the ring roads of Palermo, Agrigento, Catania, and the works of the Syracuse-Gela highway.”

As for the development of the railway network, the planned investments reach 13 billion euros, resources that are already earmarked today for the construction of the high-capacity railway Palermo-Messina-Catania, the restoration and electrification of the Palermo-Trapani line, as well as connections with the airports of Trapani and Fontanarossa.

Major works serving Sicilians

Businesses and citizens are awaiting the large works, an opportunity for the 5 million Sicilians who are watching with curiosity and anticipation the many ongoing construction sites on the island. Railways and highways, high speed, and sustainable mobility that will involve mainly the big cities, starting from Palermo, Catania, and Messina.

In this great race for modernization, the Webuild Group is at the forefront with eight projects it is working on, touching strategic routes and vital centers for the island, such as Ragusa, Catania, Enna, Caltanissetta, Messina, Palermo. Webuild’s projects, carried out in consortium with major economic operators, range from the construction of the first high-capacity line (the Palermo-Messina-Catania) to the new highway corridor that will connect Ragusa with Catania.

Works that will deeply change the island’s roads and are already yielding important results in terms of employment. In fact, there are already 1,700 people working on Webuild’s construction sites in Sicily. A small army serving the construction of essential works such as the railway line that will reach 200 kilometers in length, with seven sections served by trains connecting Palermo, Messina, and Catania. Once the Messina-Catania is completed, the travel time will be 45 minutes, 30 minutes less than what is currently required. Similarly, it will only take two hours to reach Palermo from Catania, one hour less than current times.

This is the contribution that will be delivered to the island through the completion of a central axis for the completion of one of the European TEN-T networks, that boundless corridor that – once the Bridge over the Strait is also completed – will definitively and quickly connect Sicily with the mainland.

Sustainability and innovation: large works modernizing Sicily

Infrastructure is not only an accelerator of development but also a bridge to modernity. Modernity that has already appeared in Sicily thanks to a highly technological initiative launched by Webuild. Last November, the Group inaugurated Roboplant on the island, the first fully automated factory for the production of precast concrete elements.

The plant is the first of a series that the Group has opened and still intends to open around Italy, designed and built to produce precast elements with innovative and sustainable models. The Belpasso plant, built by Webuild in consortium with Pizzarotti and the Polytechnic University of Milan, ensures that 70% of all operations are carried out automatically, with the help of robots and machinery, where human intervention is to verify compliance with the established process.

If in a standard factory it takes 10 minutes to produce a precast element, within the Sicilian plant, one will be produced in just 4 minutes, increasing productivity by 250%. An innovation that starts from Sicily and spreads throughout Italy. In addition to the Belpasso plant, Webuild will build three other plants in the country, one of which is in Sicily, in Dittaino near Enna, thus accelerating the race towards modernity of an island that wants to grow.