Today, Tuesday, October 20, 2009, AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd. (ATG) and the Swiss-Italian Condotte Cossi Consortium signed the work contract for the construction work on the Ceneri Base Tunnel (Lot 852). This means that the real driving work can now also start on the Ceneri.
The Condotte Consortium is composed of the companies Società Italiana per Condotte d’Acqua S.p.A. Rome, Cossi S.p.A. Sondrio, and Cossi SA Lugano. The contract for the major construction lot of the Ceneri Base Tunnel is worth approximately 1 billion Swiss francs.
Renzo Simoni, CEO of AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd, expressed pleasure at achievement of this goal: “With the signing of this contract the phase of real preparation work now begins also on the Ceneri Base Tunnel. All signals are at green. The vision of a flat route through the Alps is getting closer all the time!”
The work on the Ceneri Base Tunnel consists mainly of driving the two single-track tunnels of the Ceneri Base Tunnel north and south from the intermediate heading at Sigirino. At the end of November 2009 in Sigirino, the first construction site areas will be handed over to the Condotte Cossi consortium. Underground work and tunnel driving will start at the beginning of 2010. Driving should be completed in 2015, after which the railway infrastructure will be installed. Commercial operation of the Ceneri Base Tunnel with scheduled train services is planned to start at the end of 2019.
With a length of 15.4 km between the north portal at Vigana, near Camorino, and the South Portal at Vezia, near Lugano, after the Gotthard and Lötschberg Base Tunnels the Ceneri Base Tunnel is the third-largest tunnel project in Switzerland. Only with the Ceneri Base Tunnel as the logical continuation and extension of the Gotthard Base Tunnel will the new Gotthard line become a continuous flat route for freight traffic through Switzerland. In passenger traffic, journey times between the German-speaking part of Switzerland, the Ticino and Italy will be radically shortened.