A joint venture (JV) comprising Astaldi Group, Ghella, Oberosler, Cogeis and PAC has secured a €1bn contract to build the Italian stretch of the Brenner Railway Tunnel.
As part of the deal, the JV will build an exploration tunnel and two main tunnels from Mezzaselva in Fortezza to the Italian border with Austria.
A total of 23km will be dug for the development, with 46km excavated using tunnel boring machines (TBMs).
Construction work is estimated to be complete within seven years.
The company said that the formal signing of the contract ratifies the beginning of works and follows a preliminary agreement awarded in March.
Astaldi Group CEO Filippo Stinellis said: “The Brenner Tunnel, once completed, will be the longest underground railway in the world.
“The project is a great opportunity for us and for Italy for the employment levels it will guarantee during its construction, but also because it is a pioneering work of engineer that, once completed, will significantly enhance passenger and freight transport through the heart of Europe.”
Partly funded by the European Union (EU), the Brenner Tunnel has an overall cost of €8.8bn.
Italy and Austria will provide 60% of funding, with the remaining 40% coming from the EU.
Italy will provide a €2.65bn fund especially for the Brenner Tunnel project. The 64km route from Fortezza to Innsbruck, Austria, will be used for freight transport.
Brenner Basistunnel (BBT) is involved in planning and building of the Brenner Base tunnel.