BESIX and Donati improve accessibility of port of Ancona (Italy) thanks to smart methodology

30 November 2023

  • BESIX-Donati won the contract for the construction of a new 3.3 km stretch of road, including two tunnels and a viaduct in Ancona, Italy.
  • The works commissioned by Anas S.p.A improve the accessibility of the international port of Ancona.
  • BESIX-Donati made the difference by proposing a smarter methodology for the execution of one of the two tunnels.
  • The project will last 36 months, and the contract value is 108 million euros.
  • This is the second collaboration in a short time for infrastructure works in Italy for BESIX and Donati.

BESIX, in joint venture with Donati, has won the contract for the realization of a new piece of road of 3.3 km long, connecting the international port of Ancona to the Strada Statale 16 “Adriatica” via the Torrette roundabout. The works, issued by Anas, the Italian national authority on (motor) roads, are part of a larger plan to connect the Port of Ancona to the SS16. BESIX-Donati is responsible for the Execution Design and Build of the road connection of 3.3 km, including two tunnels with a total length of 1,120 m and a viaduct of 285 m. This contract marks the second major public infrastructure work for BESIX in Italy since 2020.

Smart methodology for Torrette 1 tunnel

A key award criterion for the client was that the contractors would propose an optimised design for one of the tunnels, Torrette 1. This is where BESIX-Donati made the difference. Instead of completely excavating this 470 m long tunnel, which would involve moving huge volumes of soil, BESIX and Donati worked out a solution to work partly underground. This smart methodology brings several advantages, more specifically a better score in terms of sustainability, a shorter execution time, a lower price tag, less inconvenience and increased safety during the works.

Smarter execution, less impact

For example, by working partly underground, the CO2 impact of the works is drastically reduced thanks to a reduction in transport of disposed soil. It also alleviates surface disturbance: the road running over the surface above the tunnel does not have to be interrupted and rerouted, the telecom network is less affected, the site needs less space to store the excavated soil and the expensive and heavy stuts needed to support a construction pit of this size are avoided. Moreover, this solution also reduces noise and dust pollution.

About the project

Next to this tunnel, BESIX-Donati is also responsible for a 285 m long viaduct with 7 spans, a second bored tunnel of 650 m long with one lane in each direction and new sections of road connecting the works, totalling about 1.9 km. The design phase will start at the beginning of 2024. The final project duration will be 36 months and the contract value is €108 million.

A renewed collaboration

With this project BESIX and Donati are joining forces for the second time on major infrastructure works in Italy in a short time frame. Since 2020, they have also been working together on the "Strada Statale 318 Valfabbrica" project, which involves doubling this road over a distance of 3.1 kilometres, as well as building two tunnels, a viaduct and a bridge. These works will be completed in 2025. The renewal of the collaboration between BESIX and Donati testifies to the good relationship between the two contractors thanks to the compatibility and expertise of both companies to bring challenging infrastructure works to a successful conclusion.

BESIX and Donati work together on the Valfabbrica project
"We are grateful for the trust Anas is placing in BESIX and Donati for a second time to assist them with important infrastructure works," says Hervé Jourquin, Country Manager Italy at BESIX. "It is an honour to be able to use our expertise to improve the accessibility between the port of Ancona and inland. We are proud that our smart methodology for the Torrette 1 tunnel convinced the client to choose us. Our extensive track record in infrastructure works, such as recently the renovation of the Huccorgne viaduct and the Annie Cordy tunnel (ex-Leopold II) in Belgium, the renovation and construction of the Coen and Velser tunnels in the Netherlands and the works on the Belgian Oosterweel Link in which BESIX plays a major role are just a few references that show that we are the right partner for these works."
“We are very happy to partner with BESIX once again, this time on the Port of Ancona road access project, which further consolidates our companies’ successful decades-long partnership for large-scale and complex infrastructure works”, specifies Angelica Donati, Head of Business Development at Donati. “Winning this tender was particularly gratifying for us, as our innovative design solutions for the Torrette 1 tunnel, attention to sustainability, and meticulous planning for the entire project truly made the difference in its outcome. As a leader in the Italian infrastructure field, we are proud to add this tender to our roster of contracts won recently in central Italy.”


BESIX is a leading Belgian group, based in Brussels and active in 25 countries and on 5 continents, in the construction, real estate development and concessions sectors. BESIX Group has been active since 1909. The Group's engineering department enables BESIX to carry out complex and unique projects, especially in terms of technical and environmental aspects. BESIX has an impressive track record in infrastructure works. For example, BESIX is currently building a sunken tunnel under the river Scheldt as well as a stacked tunnel in Antwerp (Belgium), the first 100% CO2-neutral tunnel in the Benelux in Rotterdam (Netherlands) and a 400 m long viaduct built using the Incremental Launch Method over the Terbregseplein, also in the Netherlands.