Innovation and Networks Executive Agency

Works in Progress: A new inland waterway network for northern Italy

Creation date: March 15, 2013

The project supported by the TEN-T Programme will contribute to the upgrade of the northern Italian inland waterway network (the Po river and its canals) to class Va (capable of accommodating vessels up to 110 metres long and displacing 3,000 tonnes with 3 layers of containers loaded).


Additionally it will also develop the multimodal interconnections with the existing road and rail networks as well as the Adriatic Sea (Short Sea Shipping and South East Europe Motorways of the Sea – TEN-T Priority Project 21). The ultimate objective is to increase the capacity of the northern Italian waterway system to meet existing and future demand for freight transport in this heavily industrialised and congested region of Italy.


What is being realised

The project focuses on upgrading the connection between Mantova and its industrial zone to the Adriatic Sea along the Fissero-Tartaro-Canal Bianco and Po-Brondolo segments.

This will be achieved by:


Building new locks at Brondolo and Cavanella to provide class Va infrastructure and allow larger vessels to safely use the locks and continue navigating on the canalSetting up an automated and remote control system for the lock chambers in the Veneto segment so as to increase the efficiency, speed, safety and competitiveness of inland waterway navigation.Building a new lock chamber in the area of Valdaro in order to connect the industrial zone of the lakes of Mantova to the Adriatic sea .Improving the structures, performance and accessibility and hinterland connection of the Mantova Valdaro port, thereby strengthening its capacity to serve as an ideal inland waterway transport intermodal node.Building a new road connection between the Mantova port and the A22 Brennero Motorway.


Current status

The Brondolo lock has been fully built and nearly all the additional works foreseen in this activity have been completed. The lock is not yet operational because some dredging works still have to take place. The chamber locks at Cavanella and the automation and remote control system for the locks in the Veneto region are completed and operational.


The new Valdaro lock chamber has been built, but is not yet operational awaiting a depollution operation, final dredging works and the installation of the remote control system and operation cabin. Similarly the works in the Mantova Valdaro port have advanced steadily during 2012 and only small additional works remain to be completed.

Construction of the railway overpass and the connection of the Mantova port and the A22 Brennero Motorway have been suspended as the implementing body needs to republish the tender for these works, which are unlikely to be completed before the end of 2014.


TEN-T involvement

The project started in May 2009. The TEN-T programme is contributing 10% – or a maximum of €8,172,300 – of the total cost of the works, with the rest of the money coming from the Italian State. The total cost of the works being realised should ultimately be €81,723,000 and the project should be completed by December 2013.


Expected benefits

Completion of the project is expected to lead to an improvement in the accessibility of the industrial pole of southeast Lombardy, to foster the interoperability of the Valdaro port area with road and rail networks and to increase the efficiency and safety of navigation. The project will deliver a greatly improved inland waterway network in northern Italy and guarantee connections to intermodal nodes, ports and road and rail networks in a key geographical region situated at the crossing of two key TEN-T Priority Projects: the railway axis Berlin-Verona/Milano-Bologna-Napoli-Messina-Palermo (Priority Project 1) and the railway axis Lyon-Trieste-Divaèa/Koper-Divaèa-Ljubljana-Budapest-Ukrainian border (Priority Project 6).


If you wish to know more about this project, please consult its page!