Lot H71 for the Eisack Underpass in northern Italy comprises the southern most part of the Brenner Base Tunnel, before the access to the Fortezza station. Under the contract, a consortium of Webuild, Strabag, Collini Lavori and Consorzio Integra have excavated approximately 6km of tunnels, including a total of 240m under the Eisack River.

Ground-freezing was used for the Eisack River underpass, where the presence of groundwater made it one of the most challenging sections.

The Brenner Base Tunnel (BBT) will be a 55km railway tunnel across the Alps from Innsbruck in Austria to Fortezza in Italy. It will cut passenger rail times between the two cities from 80 minutes to 25 minutes.

By linking to an existing line south of Innsbruck it will create the world’s longest underground railway connection.

In July the European Union pledged a further €700m (US$760m) of investment for the project. Total EU funding has now reached €2.3bn (US$2.5bn) – around half the cost of the main tunnel.