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Extraordinary Commissioner of the Government in Liguria
Genova (GE)
Value of works
€ 55.050.106,10
Start Date

Make the city of Genoa hydraulically safe

The Bisagno spillway is a very important work for Liguria, and will make it possible to definitively make the city of Genoa hydraulically safe in order to avert climate events of an exceptional nature that can turn into real disasters for the city.
The intervention, with the aim of reducing the hydraulic flow of the Bisagno stream, includes the diversion of the part considered in excess for the disposal of the downstream section of the river into a manifold (spillway tunnel) through a system of sluice gates and lateral overflow intake works built inside the riverbed near the Sciorba sports centre.


Project Details

The Bisagno spillway will increase the water flow by 450 cubic metres per second. The latter had already been increased by 850 cubic metres per second with the resurfacing of the creek, thus bringing the total flow to 1300 cubic metres.
A large part of the water will therefore be discharged directly into the sea through the new tunnel, and the remainder will be able to drain into the riverbed, which is currently being adapted. A real breakthrough.
The spillway consists of an auxiliary tunnel, called the ‘service window’. It will be approximately 365 metres long, and the intersection with the main tunnel at kilometre mark 0.650, will be performed with the automated TBM excavation system.

The intersection with the main tunnel around PK 0.650, particularly the part towards the sea, is executed using the automated excavation system known as TBM (Tunnel Boring Machine), following the excavation of a large chamber of approximately 100 meters plus a thrust chamber of about 100 meters, used for the assembly of the machine and the start of the mechanized excavation. The mechanized excavation, from approximately PK 0.850 to the end of the tunnel at around PK 5.850, connects to a previously completed tunnel section of about 50 meters, allowing the TBM to emerge at the sea and subsequently be dismantled. On the other hand, the section towards the mountain from PK 0.650 to the planned outlet under the intake structure at PK 0.00 is excavated using the traditional method immediately after completing the assembly chamber and the thrust chamber.

Main interventions

– The retention weir with the function of blocking floating objects
– The existing pedestrian bridge and the current piers within the riverbed will be demolished to make way for a new single-span pedestrian bridge.
– The barrier structure with gates that partially contain the water flow, diverting a significant amount of water into the intake structure and then channeled, through the 6,650-meter-long tunnel, to the sea outlet near San Giuliano beach. The gates will not function as a dam as they will allow the remaining water volume to flow through the riverbed and reach the sea in its natural course.
– Urban traffic near the works will benefit from the construction of a roundabout and various road widenings, while the riverbed will be lined with rocks of various sizes and weights.

Technical Data

6.650 metres
tunnel length
100 metres
chamber size to allow excavation by TBM
1200 millimetres
foundation piles

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