metres per day – average boring speed of the tunnel


people in the base camps


minutes less travelling time


The new motorway connection is a technological record for Italy and one of the most important infrastructures built in Europe in the past 20 years. The route winds its way through two Regions (Emilia Romagna and Tuscany) and eight municipalities, covering a total of around 59 km (of which 32 are along the mountain pass deviation). The motorway has three lanes (one emergency lane) in each direction, separated by a crash barrier.
Compared to the height of the old motorway section of 716 metres, the new route has been lowered to 490 metres a.s.l. to accelerate the travelling speed. The excavation of the “Val di Sambro” tunnel involved a huge amount of work: a total of 150 labourers, in addition to the subcontractors, worked in four shifts 24 hours a day. The average boring speed per calendar day was 0.93 metres, excluding any stops to check progress and perform any particular studies on gravitational aspects of the hillside.

The Variante di Valico at a glance

Take a look inside the construction that has changed the road system in central-northern Italy
> Infographic


12:15 – 23 Dec 2015 @matteorenzi

“Great emotion: the official opening of the variante di valico has finally arrived. No-one believed in it any longer, but #italyrestarts”

High technology in one of Europe’s most complex construction projects

The Variante di Valico between Bologna and Florence winds its way through one of the most complex parts of Europe from a morphological and geological viewpoint. This made highly complex technological interventions necessary.
> Read more



December 2015

Official opening

The road is clear on the A1 between Bologna and Florence: drivers now travel 3 km less, with a saving of as many as 15 minutes


November 2014

The last diaphragm is put into position

In the Val di Sambro tunnel, Italy and CMB celebrate the end of the excavation work on the mountain pass deviation, known as the ‘Variante di Valico’, a construction achievement that has made history and will run along a critical section of the ‘Autostrada del Sole’ (the central A1 motorway) for years to come.


Working round the clock

The excavation work proceeds centimetre after centimetre: step by step towards the objective. During the most active periods, there are as many as 500 labourers in the base camp.



CMB wins the contract

In 2005, the CMB group heads the chain of enterprises that wins the contract for the motorway section that runs through the valley ‘Val di Sambro’. In 2006, Autostrade per l’Italia obtains the last building permission to start on the last parts of its intervention. This project was already talked about in the early Eighties, but new laws and legislative complications slowed down the route towards the ‘Variante’.

Value of the works
329.727.976,72 euros

Autostrade per l’Italia

Role in the project
Project leader

Completion time
January 2007 – December 2015


See also

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