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Remodelling the Lyon-Turin activities in light of the Coronavirus emergency

Work on the Lyon-Turin Base Tunnel has been remodelled to ensure workers’ safety and for the works to continue safely. In compliance with all the provisions of the Italian and French governments, TELT has regulated construction site activities, implemented smart working for all 170 employees – organizing tender commissions and video conferencing meetings – opened a dedicated WhatsApp channel to inform workers of each provision, in addition to a control room to manage the various needs of employees, businesses and suppliers.

Maintenance and safety work is guaranteed in all six active construction sites of the Lyon-Turin cross-border section, while the base tunnel construction site in Saint-Martin-La-Porte in France continues its activities albeit in reduced mode, operating in three shifts instead of five. In particular, some processes were carried out and, after being suspended for a few weeks to adapt the emergency safety measures, the traditional excavation resumed on 14 April 2020.

In line with the indications given by the Italian and French governments to deal with the Coronavirus emergency, the companies assess on the basis of the type of work and operating methods, those operations that cannot be postponed and therefore should be carried out, and those that can be temporarily suspended. Already in early March, when the emergency broke out, TELT sanitized all its premises and implemented smart working for its employees. All activities relating to the works management and the carrying out of tenders continue regularly with the support of the digital structures available. In the three weeks of teleworking in March, more than 300 “official” video conference meetings took place, for a total of over 600 hours, not counting the dozens of video calls between colleagues to organise the work.

In particular, tenders are underway for works on the Lyon-Turin Base Tunnel for a value of over €3 billion. Specifically for the three French lots of the base tunnel (worth €2.3 billion), in December 2019 the tender specifications were sent to the companies that are preparing the offers that must be submitted by the end of May 2020 (extended term of five weeks, to allow companies to respond following the Coronavirus public health emergency). It is one of the largest European tenders for works in France involving three construction sites between Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and the Italian border for a total length of 45 km. The assignment is scheduled for the end of the year. For the 12.5-km-long Base Tunnel in the Italian lot (worth approximately €1 billion), the submission phase of the applications has ended and the specifications will be sent to the suitable companies in the coming months. The award is scheduled for 2021.

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