Recently, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi announced plans to construct a suspension bridge that will connect Sicily to mainland Italy over the Strait of Messina. The cost of the bridge is slated at 6.1 billion Euro. Mr. Berlusconi has been in favor of building this bridge for some time, and said he will donate 1.3 billion Euro of his own money for the project. If completed, it would be the largest suspension bridge in the world, at 3.3 km long and 60 m wide. The bridge would be supported by two massive pillars, each over a thousand feet tall. There would be six lanes for cars, a railway that could handle around 200 trains a day and two pedestrian walkways. Currently the only way to get to Sicily is by taking one of the many ferries or flights that currently service the Island.
The idea of building a bridge across the Strait of Messina has been around for thousands of years, as the ancient Romans had discussed building a flotation bridge. Since then, many architects and engineers have discussed the idea of designing tunnels and bridges for various leaders and administrations, but construction was never as close to starting as it is now.
There is currently a debate taking place in Italy about the construction. Supporters of the project see the bridge as a way to create jobs and boost tourism, while opponents worry about the ecological impact, and fear the bridge would be vulnerable to high winds and earthquakes, which the area is prone to.
What are your thoughts? Should there be a bridge to Sicily, or should the Italians continue to use the ferries and planes that have been use until now? Would you want to walk, train, or drive your car rental in Italy over this bridge? After taking a road trip in Sicily that ends in Messina, how would you like to leave the island: by car, ferry, or airplane? Let us know what you think!