Work on Milan’s new metro line resumes amid the lockdown

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)

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