Ports and Waterways

Upgrading of Ferrara Waterways (from Final di Rero to Milgliarino) to the V European Class River Traffic (Italy)

Porti ed idrovie Idrovie

Upgrading of Ferrara Waterways (from Final di Rero to Milgliarino) to the V European Class River Traffic (Italy)

Over the past years, the situation of the Ferrara waterway deteriorated rapidly, as a result of modifications due to the inadequacy of the drainage system of the river Po di Volano (which represents the main basin). Furthermore, another aspect that accelerated the deterioration of the hydraulic situation: the continuous use of part of the drainage system for supplying the irrigation network for the adjacent fields, with the result that the drainage system ion its course to the Adriatic Sea is deprived of the spring storm-enhanced flows.

The foreseen targets of the project are the improvement of the inland navigation conditions, and the enhancement of the use of the entire area, from the point of view of both navigation and built-up zones (cycle paths, stopping and picnic areas along the waterway etc.). 

The interventions were carried out steps concerned three particular branches:

  • Realization of new bridges: in many zones along the waterway, to enhance the use of the area, it seemed necessary to build new bridges and footbridges, made in steel (like in the case of those at Cà Dondi and Final di Rero) or in wood (footbridge at Tresigallo build-up area), or to improve the existing ones by the insertion of technologically more advanced parts. Thus even to allow (after the adaptation works of the river) the new class of ships to pass under the bridges.
  • Improvement of Valpagliaro navigation lock: the work consisted in modifying the lock dimensions, lengthening it by almost 15 metres in the current direction: this modification allows even 110 m-long ships to navigate inside the river. Of course, this implied demolishing the old vertical-lift gate in the upper part of the lock chamber, and rebuilding a gate 15 metres before the previous location. Furthermore, some other parts of the river course have been modified, in order to give a smoother profile to some of the existing bights.

Environmental aspects: in order to minimize the environmental impact due to all the interventions, it was decided to re-naturalize those parts of the natural levees involved in some interventions (such as the building of the bridges), and consequently modified. In particular, it must be mentioned the insertion of green areas on the entire surface of the island located near Final di Rero.

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Regional Authority for the Inland Navigation ARNI


Region of Emilia Romagna, Italy


EIA; Preliminary Design, Detailed Design, Works Supervision

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