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Pedemontana Lombarda motorway (MP)

The "Pedemontana-Lombarda" motorway is a great road infrastructure, which crosses one of the most built-up areas in Europe. It consists of 67 km of motorway, 20 km of bypass roads and 70 km of road connections, aimed at solving the congestion and saturation of the road network in the North of Milan. The road will be for nearly three-quarters below the ground level, almost invisible in trenches and tunnels.

Project: Pedemontana Lombarda motorway connecting Bergamo to Malpensa Airport (80 km)

Location: Lombardy Region, Italy.

Client: Autostrada Pedemontana Lombarda S.p.A..

Cost of total Works: 3,508,600,000 €

Services: Monitoring Plan and Geographic Information System (GIS).

Period: 05/2008 – 04/2011

The main activities carried out were:


  • Drafting of the Environmental Monitoring Plan;
  • Coordination and execution of the investigations;
  • Development of geographic information system (GIS).


Drafting of the Environmental Monitoring Plan

The environmental monitoring allows to quantify the impact of the construction and presence of the infrastructure on the environment by a set of periodic surveys, carried out on chemical, physical and biological parameters. The environmental aspects monitored are: atmosphere, surface water, groundwater, soil, vegetation – wildlife – ecosystems, landscape, noise, vibration, and social aspects.

The plan has been divided into three phases: ante operam, construction phase and post operam.
When we correlate the results achieved in the different phases, it is possible to assess the evolution of the environmental conditions and the impact of the infrastructure.
The ante operam phase can be considered the most important phase as it allows to define the reference condition for the prediction of impacts and the effect of mitigation works both during the construction and operation phases.
While planning the survey activities, a key aspect is to define the sensitive areas and receptors, such as schools and hospitals. According to this, it is possible to define the survey points and areas. The definition of an adequate number of survey points is basic for the purpose of representing the environment properly and optimizing the cost of the monitoring plan.


Relationships with local and environmental authorities

During the preliminary design, the environmental monitoring plan has been set down in accordance with the Regional Authority for the Environmental Protection and in accordance with national and local guidelines and laws.
The joint activities, which consist of technical meetings, site visits and contradictory measures are aimed at checking and validating the collected data, which is subsequently disclosed to the public through the GIS.


Coordination and execution of the investigations

The environmental surveys have included the execution of field sampling and laboratory analysis as well as ecological surveys such as quadrats for the vegetation, transects for the birds, reptiles and amphibians surveys and specific activities for the survey of bats and fish.
Multispectral analyses to measure the biophysical coverage of the soil and the stress of the vegetation have been applied.
Special attention has been paid to the interaction between the work and the local population. According to this, the noise and air quality sampling points have been placed in order to survey the effect of the construction activities and the future emission of the road, considering as a priority the safeguarding of the resident population.
The groundwater investigations have been carried out in order to assess the possible effects of the tunnel sections of the road. Moreover, the integration of the new infrastructure in the surrounding landscape has been monitored and simulated with rendering.


Development of the Geographic Information System

The Geographic Information System (GIS) has been implemented to support the environmental monitoring activities, for the purpose of collecting, validating, managing, representing and processing the information acquired.
The environmental monitoring data has been localized in the space, and associated at each station with a geometric element (point, line, or polygon).
The GIS is available on line ( ArcGIS technologies permit the exploration of web resources to view and query the data stored in the specific set-up database.