Webuild wins €1.26bn contract to build self-driving highways

Render courtesy of Webuild

A consortium led by Italian builder Webuild has won a €1.26bn contract to design and build two sections of the Pedemontana Lombarda Highway in northern Italy, which will have technology to facilitate self-driving vehicles.

Section B2 will run 12.7km between Lentate sul Seveso and Cesano Maderno, while Section C will run 20km between Cesano Maderno and Milan’s A51 eastern beltway.

Webuild owns 70% of the contract; Pizzarotti is also a partner.

Commissioned by Autostrada Pedemontana Lombarda SpA with Concessioni Autostradali Lombarde SpA as grantor, the project is to be completed for the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina.

The new sections will have technology that lets autonomous vehicles communicate with the highway, Webuild said.

The roads will alert vehicles to accidents and road works, transmit speed limits and other driving information, and collect traffic data.

A diagnostic system will monitor potential weaknesses, weight loads, vibrations and temperatures in order to reduce damage to the infrastructure.

The project is expected to create 18,400 direct and indirect jobs.

It includes the remediation of areas affected by the 1976 industrial chemical disaster in Seveso.

Webuild said the contract brings the combined value of orders so far this year to more than €10bn – including projects it has won, is finalising or for which it is the best bidder. That figure excludes the $16bn contract to build a high-speed railway in Texas.

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