Wikipedia schreef:2006 plan
The 2006 plan called for a single-span suspension bridge with a central span of 3,300 m (about 2 miles). This would have made the span more than 60% longer than the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge in Japan (the largest suspension bridge in the world at 1,991 metres).
Plans called for six traffic lanes (two driving lanes and one emergency lane in each direction), two railway tracks and two pedestrian lanes. In order to provide a minimum vertical clearance for navigation of 65 metres, the height of the two towers was to be 382.6 metres. This would have been taller than the Millau Viaduct in France (currently the tallest bridge in the world at 341 metres). The bridge's suspension system would have relied on two pairs of steel cables, each with a diameter of 1.24 metres and a total length, between the anchor blocks, of 5,300 metres.
The design included 20.3 km of road links and 19.8 km of railway links to the bridge. On the mainland, the bridge was to connect to the new stretch of the Salerno-Reggio Calabria motorway (A3) and to the planned Naples-Reggio Calabria High-Speed railway line; on the Sicilian side, to the Messina-Catania (A18) and Messina-Palermo (A20) motorways as well as the new Messina railway station (to be built by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana).
Geographically, the bridge was planned to connect Reggio Calabria to Messina, the two cities which face each other on either side of the strait, and form a single city. This ambitious urban project was called Area Metropolitana integrata dello Stretto (Integrated Metropolitan Area of the Strait) or simply Città dello Stretto (City of the Strait). Among the controversies surrounding the building of the bridge was strong opposition to the formation of the new city by various Sicilian nationalist groups.
A construction consortium was chosen in 2005, with actual construction set to begin in the second half of 2006. Completion was projected to take six years, at a projected cost of € 4.6 billion.
On October 12, 2006, the Italian Parliament voted 272 to 232 in favor of abandoning the plan due to the bridge's "doubtful usefulness and viability," as well as the inability of the already burdened Italian treasury to bear its share of the cost. Additionally, transport minister Alessandro Bianchi pointed out that the road and rail links leading to the location of the proposed bridge are not capable of supporting enough traffic to make the bridge profitable. Other reasons for abamdoning the plan were earthquake risk, and fears that much of the funds would be diverted to organized crime. On April 15th 2008 Silvio Berlusconi was re-elected prime minister of Italy and vowed to restart the project to build the bridge.
Controversy and concerns
Many also questioned the priority of the bridge, since some towns in Sicily are still without running water, and claimed that the money used for the bridge would be better spent elsewhere.
There are also those who claimed that the bridge would be totally unnecessary, since the local economy is already providing for the conversion of a local former NATO airport into a commercial terminal to export vegetables to northern Europe. Alternatively, a much cheaper revamping of the current structures is claimed to be sufficient (for instance, the ferry lines on the Calabria side are now accessible by trucks only by driving through very narrow streets, which are a tight bottleneck for transport).
Finally, there were concerns about the environmental impact of the bridge, its actual feasibility, and whether it could resist earthquakes, not uncommon in the region.
The Strait of Messina is a funnel-shaped arm of sea that connects the Ionian Sea in the south to the Tyrrhenian Sea to the north. The width of the strait varies from a maximum of approximately 16 km (between Capo d'Alì in Sicily and Punta Pellaro in Calabria) to a minimum of approximately 3 km between Capo Peloro in Sicily and Torre Cavallo in Calabria. A similar distance separates Pezzo and Ganzirri; in that point, the strait is only 72 m deep, while in other places it can reach 2000 m deep.
The Strait is characterized by strong currents, which together with the frequently observed phenomenon of Fata Morgana have contributed to make it an important place in Greek and classic mythology. Homer described two monstrous creatures, Scylla and Charybdis, hidden on either side of the strait to attack passing ships.
The same currents provide the Strait with a unique ecosystem, providing a habitat for species of animals and plants found nowhere else in the Mediterranean. Also unique is the Strait's meteorology, with air currents providing a special route used by a majority of migratory birds.