Episode 2: Italian Superlink
This film follows a team of elite engineers and construction workers as they battle to build Italy’s most ambitious mountain super-highway - the Variante di Valico. They must construct this 62km highway through one of Italy’s most treacherous mountain ranges, the Apennines to link Florence with Bologna.
Chief Engineer Alberto Selleri must supervise the construction of the whole 62km road including 41 viaducts and 41 tunnels – but there is one tunnel which is more difficult to build than the rest, the 2.5km long Sparvo Tunnel.
The Sparvo Tunnel poses a mammoth challenge to Alberto – tough mountain rock and pockets of highly explosive methane gas make this a dangerous job. It calls for some serious kit – the world’s biggest tunnel boring machine or TBM. The TBM is a gigantic rock-eating monster. It weighs almost 4,300-tons, has a cutter head 10-metres in diameter and stretches over 130-metres long. The job of driving this mega-machine falls to Ulisse Beozzo. He and his crew must steer this machine through the mountain not once but twice – to complete the twin parallel Sparvo Tunnels.