In October, 2007, an ensemble of three bridges designed by Calatrava was inaugurated in Reggio nellà Emilia, near Bologna in Italy. These bridges are the first phase of a larger project, which will includes a new high-speed railway station and other infrastructure improvement program. Plans for the bridges originated in 2002 when the city of Reggio Emilia invited Calatrava to design a new train station "Stazione Mediopadana" for the TAV (Treno Alta Velocità ) highspeed railway line between Milan and Bologna. In addition, he was also commissioned to create a master plan for the city's outskirt — a fragmented area called Mancasale —, to improve vehicular access and provide an impressive new gateway from the north.
Calatrava's plan called for integrating the station with three new bridges, designed to connect the Autostrada del Sole (A1) to the city by way of a tree-lined avenue, Viale Trattati di Roma, including a highway toll station for cars leaving the Autostrada. The first phase of the project to be completed was the ensemble of three bridges; a central bridge spanning the railway line and the Autostrada, flanked by twin bridges that cross over roundabouts and access roads serving the Autostrada as well as the highway toll station.
The central bridge has a single symmetrical arch, which rises to a height of 46 meters (151 feet) and spanning 221 meters (725 feet) over the highway and railway line. Suspended from the arch by radially-placed cables is a steel box-girder, which cantilever beams project 9.75 meters (32 feet) at an intervals of 3.5 meters (11.5 feet). The 25.6-meter (84 feet) wide box-girder supports the roadway and accommodates four automobile lanes and two lanes for bicycles and pedestrians, one in either direction. Directly to the south and north are two bridges over the roundabouts and highway access roads. These bridges are 179-meter (587 feet) long and 13.6-meter (45 feet) wide and provide one traffic lane in opposite direction. 26 cable-stays supporting the roadbed are arranged strikingly in the shape of a hyperbola. Both bridges are distinguished by its arch, set at right angles facing the direction of traffic and rises to a height of 68.8 meters (225 feet). These two high arches can be seen from miles across the flat countryside 'Padana' and creates the appearance of a towering gate marking the entrance to the city
2002 - 2007
Ponte di calatrava
Autostrada del Sole
42124 Reggio Emilia RE