TBM Virginia was launched in 2019 and excavated the 14km line at an average daily advance of 10.2m.

With this milestone, 91 per cent of the excavations on the Lot 61 Mules 2-3 section have been completed.

Webuild CEO Pietro Salini described the Brenner Base Tunnel as a strategic project for all of Europe. He added that Italy’s recently approved public works code would reduce bureaucracy and “help get the country back on its feet with the right infrastructure”.

The 64km Brenner Base Tunnel – the longest rail tunnel in the world – is being built under the Alps to connect Italy and Austria, reducing the journey time from Fortezza to Innsbruck from 80 minutes to 25 minutes. It will be a key part of the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).

In addition to Lot 61 Mules 2-3 on the Italian side, Webuild is completing Lot H71 Isarco River Underpass along with Strabag, Consorzio Integra and Collini Lavori. On the Austrian side, it has completed the 38km tunnel Tulfes-Pfons section and has begun work on Lot H41 Gola del Sill-Pfons in a 50/50 joint venture with Implenia.

The €651m (US$708.6m) Gola del Sill-Pfons lot extends from near Innsbruck southward to the town of Pfons and includes construction of a total of 22.5km of twin main tunnels plus 38 cross passages, an underground emergency stop at Innsbruck, and other underground works.

In Italy, Webuild and Implenia are also working in a consortium on the Fortezza-Ponte Gardena rail line. The €1.07bn (US$1.16bn) high-capacity railway contract includes the construction of a 22km-long twin-tube main tunnel and a 3km-long twin-tube secondary tunnel to connect the new main line to the existing railway network.

In February a consortium of Webuild, Ghella and Collini was awarded the design and construction contract for a rail bypass project in Trento, Italy. It comprises works for around 13km of rail line, including construction of the approximately 10.6km-long Trento Tunnel, and two short sections above ground alongside the existing line. Four TBMs will excavate the tunnel, with two working at either end and advancing 15-20m a day