The "Base Tunnel", a tunnel with separate carriageways that are 8.7 km long, a symbol of the entire "Variante di Valico" stretch of the A1 motorway, will be inaugurated on 23 December, 2015. With 10.2 million cubic metres of excavated material and a working face of 180 square metres, it is the largest tunnel on the Variante di Valico and one of the most impressive in Europe. The Variante di Valico is a 66.6 km stretch of the Apennine section of the A1, in the segment between Sasso Marconi (Bo) and Barberino del Mugello (Fi), and it is the most important upgrade to be carried out on the motorway network by Autostrade per l’Italia.
The Variante di Valico, as well as being one of the largest infrastructural projects in Europe, marks the end of one of the oldest traffic junctions of the Italian motorway network, easing considerably the flow of traffic between the North and the South of the country. The upgrading works are necessary to help reduce pollution, provide reduced travel times with lower fuel consumption and protect the safety of those who travel through our country.
KERLITE, the ultra-thin ceramic porcelain tile produced by Cotto d'Este, has been used to coat the curved walls of the longest tunnel of the Variante di Valico, one of the most impressive infrastructural projects in Europe. The ultra-thin ceramic slabs (only 3.5 mm thick) with large dimensions (100x300 and 100x100 cm) have an anti-reflection white colour; they are laid with special Mapei adhesives, at a height of 4 metres from the pavement next to the roadway on both concrete walls of each tunnel (one in each direction).