“Southern Italy remains close to my heart. It is a region that needs jobs, infrastructure – a vision. It is a region in immediate need of a plan to grow economically. We want to make ourselves available to these regions. We want to do public works here in an honest and transparent way so that young people and their families can have a future. For this reason we are launching a programme to hire 100 young engineers from the south to work with us throughout the world but, most of all, here in the south so that they can contribute to the development of their respective regions,” Webuild Chief Executive Pietro Salini told at a news conference held at one of the construction sites of the Naples-Bari high-speed/high-capacity railway project alongside Vincenzo De Luca, governor of the Campania region; Vera Fiorani, Chief Executive and General Manager of Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (Gruppo FS Italiane); and Roberto Pagone, the commissioner overseeing the project.
“We are here in Naples to collaborate with the public institutions to accelerate the construction of sustainable public works in southern Italy, just as we did in Genoa where, as was witnessed by everyone, we showed how infrastructure could be done well and in a collaborative and transparent manner. This is Webuild’s strategy: to build at a quick pace in order to contribute to the development of projects under the PNRR (National Plan of Resilience and Recovery). We are also ready to do it with many other infrastructure projects that are not part of the plan but can nevertheless start soon to meet the needs of the southern regions: roads, metro lines, water works. We work alongside the public administration, on the same side of the table, bringing to the south the same spirit and readiness showed during the construction of the Genoa bridge. We did it not with a mass of rules or exemptions to them, but with a willingness to apply them and to do it together, every day, without hesitation,” Salini concluded.
Webuild’s commitment to southern Italy dates back to the 1930s, from which time it has built more than 280 projects. Today, Webuild is working on 10 public works, with another two soon to become operative. With these construction sites, the Group is giving work to more than 2,000 people directly and indirectly without taking into account the 1,700 businesses along the supply chain with contracts worth a combined total of nearly €950 million.
The Naples-Bari railway will become a strategic axis for the development of sustainable mobility in southern Italy with travel times between the two cities cut in half to a mere two hours. It will also help bring northern and southern Italy closer together, with an expected travel time between Milan and Bari of six hours. But the railway also represents jobs and economic development for the region: the two sections on which the Group is working – Naples-Cancello and Apice-Hirpinia – have more than 2,200 people working directly and indirectly among the nearly 400 businesses that make up the supply chain.
The Naples-Cancello section will include a new station in the town of Napoli-Afragola. Built by Astaldi of Webuild Group, it will serve as an interchange with regional trains. About 15.5 kilometres long, the section will pass through towns like Casoria, Casalnuovo, Afragola, Caivano and Acerra. The second section of the Naples-Bari line will run for 18 kilometres between Apice and Hirpinia, crossing the Apennine. This section will include a station at Hirpinia and three natural tunnels and four viaducts.
The Naples-Bari railway is one of the sustainable mobility projects being rebranded by the Webuild Group to underline the role that infrastructure can play in economic recovery and job creation in Italy. Together with the doubling of the Bicocca-Catenanuova section of the high-capacity line between Palermo-Catania, the rebranding of the Terzo Valico dei Giovi and Genova Juncture, and the third mega lot of the 106 Ionian State Highway: these are open work sites where the Group is maximising transparency by installing webcams that will allow everyone to follow the development of projects that will improve the transfer of people and goods, reduce CO2 emissions and make the country more efficient and competitive.