Roads & Motorways

Access system to the EXPO 2015 area

New route linking the Western By-Pass Road A50 and the A8 motorway
Owner/client Eureca Consorzio Stabile (on behalf of "Infrastrutture Lombarde S.p.A.")
Type of service Final, Detailed and for Construction Design
Location Milan
Period 2012 - 2015
End of work 2015
Cost € 120.000.000

PRO ITER Prog. Infrastr. Terr. (43%); Politecnica; Erre.Vi.A.; Antonio Citterio & Partners

The design is part of the complex set of upgrading and territorial innovation actions promoted at the Universal Exposition 2015, aimed at enhancing the Lombard territory as a whole and, in particular, at ensuring the necessary access roads.

The design pursues full integration of the exhibition center Expo 2015 with the territory, ensuring proper access to the site by means of an expressway with approx. 3 km length, located northwest of Milan, close to the new Exhibition Center in Rho-Pero.

From a merely road perspective, the link is a natural continuation of the alternative route to the S.S. 11 'Padana Superiore' in the municipality of Milan, as it originates from the intersection of the latter with the S.S. 33 'del Sempione'.

Cascina Merlata artificial tunnel

length 1 km approx.; total width 24.70 m (2 tubes per direction + central tunnel)

EXPO Viaduct

Total length 265 m; 5 spans (53 m each); mixed steel/cls structure; lining with alucobond panels

EXPO Aesthetic Arches

2 staggered arches of 21m (L1=200m, L2=197m) in corten steel

Arched bridges

Bridge over A4 (L=140m, f=35m) and bridge over A8 (L=97m, f=35m) covered with alucobond panels

Overpass on "Merlata" traffic circle

2 single-span decks with span 41m (South) and 31m (North), covered with alucobond panels

RFI and single carriageway viaduct

2 side-by-side steel/cls decks of approx. 210m span with 4 spans; Axis ES viaduct (L=106m, 2 spans) and Axis EN viaduct (L=56m, single span) lined with alucobond panels.

A system of bridges, viaducts and a set of steel arches

During the upgrading stage, the route initially develops in an artificial tunnel passing under the area of the Integrated Intervention Plan in Cascina Merlata; then it joins the design roads for the new junction on the A4 Milan-Turin as well as with a primary municipal road under development in the municipality of Milan (interdistrict road). Subsequently, passing over the FS railway station Milano Certosa of the Milan-Novara line, the A4 motorway and the EXPO 2015 area, it ends with a partial junction on the A8 'Milano Laghi' motorway in north direction.
The layout has been designed in such a way that, in the future, an extension would be possible to reach the S.S. 233 'Varesina' and the SP 40 'Rho-Monza'.

The main works included in the design are the artificial tunnel passing under the area of the Integrated Intervention Plan in Cascina Merlata and the viaduct originating south of the intersected railway line and ending at the A8 motorway.

Built with the characteristic excavation method 'Milan type' (which allows to minimize construction times and impact on the territory during the works) and the innovative system of the 'white tank' (thanks to which waterproof concrete can be obtained already during processing), the artificial tunnel develops for approx. 1 km, bypassing the S.S.33 del Sempione and joining the roads leading to the Western by-pass road at Molino Dorino.

The system of bridges and viaducts is made of a series of steel arches: for the bridges on the A4 and A8 motorways, these elements have a structural function; while along the EXPO viaduct they only have an aesthetic function, aimed at making the whole project look organic and well fitted into the urban context of 'EXPO 2015' and creating the so-called 'Door of Milan' (a distinctive element for those who drive on the road from and to the city center).

The whole elevated system is made even more homogeneous and characteristic by the covering 'guard' of the decks, an external metal coating of Alucobond that ensures continuity among the works. Thanks to specific lighting studies, the presence of this element helps create an appealing play of light during the evening and in the night.

The bridges and viaducts system consists of a set of steel arches: for the overpasses of the A4 and A8 freeways these elements assume a structural function while along the EXPO viaduct they have a purely aesthetic function, making the whole project organic and well inserted in the urban context of "EXPO 2015" and creating the so-called "Gateway to Milan" (a distinctive element for those who travel the road in or out of the city).