What are the challenges faced in bringing a new subway line under ancient Roman ruins and through Rome’s historic center?

What are the challenges faced in bringing a new subway line under ancient Roman ruins and through Rome's historic center?

Work on new Rome subway line under the Colosseum and Forum enters crucial phase

Rome’s ambitious project to construct a new subway line under the ancient ruins of the Colosseum and through the historic center has reached a critical stage as crews excavate a deep retaining wall around the flagship station at Piazza Venezia.

Engineering Marvel: Excavating a Deep Retaining Wall

The Metro C subway line, which has been in the works for two decades, will connect the eastern and western suburbs of Rome, passing under some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. The engineering feat requires excavating an 85-meter (280-foot) deep retaining wall around the Piazza Venezia station, which will serve as the interchange point for several existing lines.

Delays and Challenges: Bureaucracy and Archaeology

The project has faced numerous delays over the years, including bureaucratic hurdles, funding issues, and extensive archaeological excavations. The need to preserve the ancient ruins has added complexity to the construction process, with archaeologists carefully monitoring the work to ensure minimal damage to the historical treasures.

Anticipated Completion and Cost

Despite the challenges, the project has gained momentum, with chief engineer Andrea Sciotti expressing optimism that the Metro C line will be completed by 2034. The total cost of the project is estimated at nearly 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion), which includes the construction of 30 stations along the 26-kilometer (16-mile) route.

Benefits and Significance: Improved Transportation and Tourism

The completion of the Metro C line will significantly improve transportation in Rome, reducing traffic congestion and providing faster and more convenient access to the city center. It is also expected to boost tourism, as it will connect major attractions such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Vatican.

Preserving History While Embracing Modernization

The construction of the Metro C line has sparked discussions about the balance between preserving historical heritage and embracing modernization. Archaeologists have welcomed the opportunity to study and document the ancient ruins unearthed during the excavations, while engineers have emphasized the importance of building a resilient and efficient subway system that will serve Rome for generations to come.

As the project enters its crucial phase, all eyes are on Rome as it navigates the challenges of bringing the benefits of modern transportation to one of the world’s oldest and most treasured cities.

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