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
NameHighway Orte-Mestre, Italy
SiteLazio, Toscana, Umbria, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto
Accuracy of LocationLOW country/state 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)
Urban development conflicts
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Specific CommoditiesLand
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe 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.

Along the way the highway will meet: 11 thousand hectares of SIC (areas of Community Interest) 5,800 hectares of SPAs (special protection areas); 8,300 acres of national parks. The European Commission has officially declared that the Orte-Mestre highway is not part of the "Trans-European Networks-Transport". In November 2013, the CIPE approved the preliminary project. However, in September 2014, the Court of Auditors blocked the CIPE's resolution. This was done because, according to the judges, it was not possible to spend one billion and 800 thousand Euros of task relief, which were supposed to be obtained, according to the Orte-Mestre highway financial plan. The second clause of article number 4 of the "Sblocca Italia" Decree has granted public funding through the mechanism of task relief. Thanks to this, the Court of Auditors judge's decision has not a legal value. In November 2014, the CIPE approved the preliminary project again. Currently, the Italian government has asked EC to include the Orte-Mestre highway project into the "Piano Junker".

The level of investment comprises 12,400,000,000.00 dollars for financing and bond project with a public funding of 2,232,000,000.00 dollars through the mechanism of task relief regarding IVA, IRES and IRAP.
Project Area (in hectares)396 km (length of the Orte Mestre highway)
Level of Investment (in USD)12,400,000,000.00 USD
Type of PopulationUrban
Potential Affected Population10,280,000 million (inhabitants of the regions involved)
Start Date01/01/2003
Company Names or State EnterprisesScetaroute 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 Financial InstitutionsCarige Bank from Italy
Efibanca from Italy
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersStop Or-Me Network http://www.stoporme.org/
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Trade unions
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
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
OtherOsservations about the Environmental Impact Study presented by the No-Ar Network and WWF Italy http://ftp150.com/stoporme/materiali/2007/osservazioni_sia_noar_07.pdf
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Other environmental related diseases
OtherStudy regarding the exposure of the population to urban pollution http://w3.uniroma1.it/medicinadellavoro/Struttura/Documentazione/OPUSCOLO_IU_PG.pdf
Socio-economic 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
OtherRecent 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)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseMigration/displacement
New legislation
Strengthening of participation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Development of AlternativesThe 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 as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.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 and Materials

- Deliberazione n. SCCLEG/16/2014/PREV
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Decreto Legge 12 settembre 2014, n. 133
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- Progetto Preliminare e valutazione di impatto ambientale
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Inquadramento dell’opera
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Il Casello incantato
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Giovazzi,G.Barbieri, Corruzione a norma di legge. La lobby delle grandi opere che affonda l'Italia, Rizzoli, 2014.

Campagna soffocata dal cemento
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No Orte Mestre - In viaggio nei luoghi minacciati dalla futura autostrada
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Orte-Mestre: la nuova autostrada delle polemiche
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E45 / Orte-Mestre. Dalle grandi opere alle opere utili ?
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Stop OR-ME Network
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Luca Martinelli, Il diavolo nel Comma: la Orte-Mestre.
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- Giorgio Meletti, Autostrada Orte - Mestre ecco il vero affare che spunta dalle carte dell’inchiesta Mose
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Gianni Belloni, Orte-Mestre, protesta contro l’autostrada. Legambiente: “Progetto insostenibile”
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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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Media Links

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

Facebook of Opzione Zero
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Facebook of Stop Or-Me
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Other Documents

No Orte Mestre Demonstration
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Orte Mestre map
[click to view]

Opzione zero flag
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Meta Information
ContributorMartina Di Russo Email: [email protected] and Alessandra Trischitta Email: [email protected], CDCA (cdca.it)
Last update06/02/2015