Approval had been given for construction of the Messina Suspension Bridge to link mainland Italy with the island of Sicily, however the project was mothballed by the previous Italian Government. The Government, under Silvio Berlusconi, indicated that they wanted to resurrect the project; feasibility studies are ongoing. The existing longest span bridge is Japan's Akashi Kaikyo Bridge (1991m main span); the fourth longest is the Humber Bridge (1410m main span); the main span of the Messina bridge (3300m) would be equal the two bridges added together !
Advances in the understanding of the aerodynamic performance of bridge decks has made the unprecedented 3.3km span possible. Failure of the Tacoma Narrows bridge in 1940 highlighted the problems caused by wind induced oscillations, or "flutter". Flutter would be minimised in the Messina bridge by splitting the deck into three parallel sections. Gaps between the sections will enabled air to flow without inducing oscillations in the deck.
It is estimated that the deck will be a meagre 2.25m deep. The main towers will be 370m tall supporting two pairs of 1.24m diameter galvanised steel cables. The estimated cost was £3.8bn and may increase due to the delays in the programme.