Italian contractors Salini Impregilo and Astaldi have resumed work on the new Line 4 extension of Milan’s metro after a government decree allowed some infrastructure work to continue in the virus-torn country.
The resumption was conditional upon "extraordinary safety measures" to protect workers from the contagion, Salini Impregilo said in a press release.
They include checking workers’ temperatures at the start of the day and at lunchtime; masks; giving out hand sanitisers and disinfectant gel dispensers; enforcing the safe distance rule; disinfecting work sites, dorms and common areas; and cutting the number of people traveling in vehicles to and from the site.
Line 4 will take people from the city’s centre to its airport in 12 minutes.
It is being built as a public-private partnership, with M4 SpA as the concessionaire, consisting of a group of private investors led by Salini Impregilo.
The company said work had now restarted on all three sections of the metro line – east, west and central – including preparations to start excavating with the large tunnel-boring machines (TBMs) by next week.
There are about 200 workers and managers on the job.
Work halted after a legislative decree on 21 March by the president of the Lombardy region, which required the stoppage of all activities for 10 days, from 22 March to 5 April.
However, a presidential decree from 22 March allowed infrastructure work such as Line 4 on the condition that procedures and protective gear are enforced to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which causes the disease, Covid-19.
Image: Milan’s skyline in 2016 (Daniel Case/CC BY-SA 3.0)