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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 April, 2004, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Tender launched for Sicily bridge
Computer simulation of Messina Straits bridge
The bridge has proved to be a controversial project
Italy has launched a tender for construction of a long-awaited bridge linking Sicily with mainland Italy, Italian television has reported.

According to state TV channel Rai Uno, prospective contractors have until 13 July to submit their bids.

Construction of the bridge - expected to cost 4.6bn euros ($5.5bn; 3.1bn) - will begin in late 2005 and take more than six years, the report said.

The toll for cars using the 3.6 kilometre bridge will be 9.5-16 euros.

The bridge will be one of the biggest and most costly public works projects undertaken in Italy.

It is projected to stand 64 metres above sea level, carrying a double six-lane highway and four tracks for a high-speed railway line.

The project is popular with Sicilian politicians and administrators, but has been criticised by environmentalists as a waste of money.

Sicilian bridge to go ahead
06 Jun 02  |  Europe

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