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Highway Orte-Mestre, Italy


The Orte-Mestre highway will cross Central and Northern-Eastern Italy, from Orte to Mestre, passing through Perugia, Cesena and Ravenna, for a total of 396 kilometers. Another stretch is supposed to connect Orte to Civitavecchia. This is one of the most important project for impact and cost among those included in the law “Legge Obiettivo” approved in 2001 where it has been declared as an infrastructure of public interest in 2003.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Highway Orte-Mestre, Italy
State or province:Italy
Location of conflict:Lazio, Toscana, Umbria, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto
Accuracy of locationLOW (Country level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Deforestation
Pollution related to transport (spills, dust, emissions)
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Urban development conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The objectives of the Orte-Mestre highway are: I) To redistribute traffic flow along the stretch Venice-Padua-Bologna-Florence and Orte; II) To complete the highway along the Adriatic Coast which currently stops at Rimini; II) To improve accessibility in the area served by the new highway, as the costal area from Venice to Rimini, the harbor of Ravenna and the metropolitan areas of Forli, Cesena and Perugia; IV) To connect the Adriatic stretch with the southern Tyrrhenian coast and the Pan-European Corridor V; V) To improve the safety on Mestre-Ravenna (SS 309) and Cesena-Orte (E45) stretch. The new highway will be following the same route of E45 from Orte to Cesena and the same route of SH309 Romea from Ravenna to Mestre up to Villabona or more probably up to Roncaduro. However, it is still possible that, rather than the above mentioned solution, the final choice will be represented by a viaduct passing through the Riviera. The project involves the construction of 147 overpasses, 26 underpasses, more than 52 miles of viaducts, 17 Kilometers of tunnels and 17 new interchanges.

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Project area:396 km (length of the Orte Mestre highway)
Level of Investment:12,400,000,000.00 USD
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:10,280,000 million (inhabitants of the regions involved)
Start of the conflict:01/01/2003
Company names or state enterprises:Scetaroute S.A.
Egis Projects S.A from France
ILI Autostrade S.p.A. from Italy
MEC S.r.l. from Italy
Technip Italy S.p.A. from Italy
Transroute International S.A.
Relevant government actors:- Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport. - Ministry of Enviroment and Land Protection. - Ministry of Heritage and Cultural Activities. - Cipe - Administrations and Local Authorities (of 5 Regions, 11 Provinces, 48 Municipalities).
International and Finance InstitutionsCarige Bank from Italy
Efibanca from Italy
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Stop Or-Me Network
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Trade unions
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Other Environmental impactsOsservations about the Environmental Impact Study presented by the No-Ar Network and WWF Italy
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Other environmental related diseases
Other Health impactsStudy regarding the exposure of the population to urban pollution
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Other socio-economic impactsRecent inquests have shown that all major initiatives in the construction industry are the main lifeblood of the "gang of building affairs" and mafias in the all Country. Many if not all political parties are fully involved in this business getting around the national laws, in order to support "big businesses", as the Orte-Mestre highway.
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
New legislation
Strengthening of participation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Development of alternatives:The Stop Or-Me Network suggests: I) to secure the SH 309 Romea; II) to diverge traffic on the A-13 highway; III) to increase the river and sea transport; IV) to increase the rail transport.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Currently, all attempts of Stop Or-Me Network against highway construction have not generated significant achievements as far as the Italian Government is concerned. Indeed, with the "Sblocca Italia" decree, the Italian Government has rejected people demands for the environmental protection of all involved areas. The Italian Government, rather, has supported a development model based on major initiatives in the construction industry.
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Decreto Legge 12 settembre 2014, n. 133
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Inquadramento dell’opera
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- Deliberazione n. SCCLEG/16/2014/PREV
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- Progetto Preliminare e valutazione di impatto ambientale
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Il Casello incantato
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Orte-Mestre: la nuova autostrada delle polemiche
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Campagna soffocata dal cemento
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E45 / Orte-Mestre. Dalle grandi opere alle opere utili ?
[click to view]

Giovazzi,G.Barbieri, Corruzione a norma di legge. La lobby delle grandi opere che affonda l'Italia, Rizzoli, 2014.

No Orte Mestre - In viaggio nei luoghi minacciati dalla futura autostrada
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Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Luca Martinelli, Il diavolo nel Comma: la Orte-Mestre.
[click to view]

Orte – Mestre: vinta una battaglia ma la lotta prosegue
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Osservatorio territoriale Infrastrutture
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Opzione Zero
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Stop OR-ME Network
[click to view]

- Giorgio Meletti, Autostrada Orte - Mestre ecco il vero affare che spunta dalle carte dell’inchiesta Mose
[click to view]

Gianni Belloni, Orte-Mestre, protesta contro l’autostrada. Legambiente: “Progetto insostenibile”
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Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Facebook of Opzione Zero
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No Orte Mestre - In viaggio nei luoghi minacciati dalla futura autostrada
[click to view]

Facebook of Stop Or-Me
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Martina Di Russo Email: [email protected] and Alessandra Trischitta Email: [email protected], CDCA (
Last update06/02/2015
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