Two tunnel-boring machines (TBM’s) were due to finish digging the central section of Milan’s new east-west metro line, the M4, this week.
Some 620,000 cubic metres of earth have been excavated for the 9.2km twin-tunnel section, said Italian contractor Webuild (formerly Salini Impregilo), which is leading the project.
Rails and electrical systems will now be installed in the tunnels as the project heads for a deadline of spring 2021 for the central section to start operating.
When complete, the entire M4 line will stretch 15km from Linate airport in the east to San Cristoforo FS station in the southwest, with 21 stations.
The end-to-end journey is expected to take 30 minutes.
Webuild said the line would take 16 million vehicles off the streets a year and cut CO2 emissions by 30,000 tonnes a year.
The first TBM broke through the wall of what will be the Solari metro station on 9 September, and its partner was due in days, Webuild said.
Around 1,500 people worked on the section despite the pandemic thanks to "extraordinary safety measures" on site, said the contractor.Â
Webuild described the project as complex, with 56 work sites and 600 vehicle movements a day – 15,000 in a single month – in a densely populated city centre.
The M4 is a public-private partnership commissioned by the City of Milan.
It is being built by mixed concession operator, M4, which will also manage the line in which the city and a group of private partners led by Webuild are investors.
Top image: The M4 line will stretch 15km from Linate city airport in the east to San Cristoforo FS station in the southwest, with 21 stations (Webuild)