Work on the redevelopment and pedestrianization of Piazza Pia, located between Castel Sant'Angelo and Via della Conciliazione, will begin by August 21 and be completed by December 8, 2024. Financed with 70 million euros from the Jubilee, the work will be carried out by ANAS through an agreement with Roma Capitale. Also presenting the project yesterday, which the Mayor described as the "lead" construction site for the Holy Year, were Anas CEO Aldo Isi and Capitoline councillors for Public Works Ornella Segnalini and Mobility Eugenio Patanè.
The creation of this new large pedestrian plaza will ; in fact, unite the Castel Sant'Angelo area with Via della Conciliazione and then St. Peter's Basilica, guaranteeing pedestrians a safe use of the area and a fluidization of vehicular traffic thanks to the creation of the underpass that will connect with the existing underpass along the Lungotevere in Sassia and which ; was recently upgraded by the CSIMU Department of the Department of Public Works of the Rome Capitol Hill.
The current road system in Piazza Pia, where 3,000 vehicles an hour pass ; will be buried in the direction of the existing underpass, built for Jubilee 2000. The project will complete the external arrangements of the areas included in and facing Piazza Pia, through an intervention on the paving of the entire area, the construction of a new public lighting system, the upgrading of the green system and the strengthening of accessibility systems for people with reduced mobility.
Specifically, the project involves the extension of the existing underpass by about 130 meters and will be carried out using the "cut&cover" methodology, which allows for simultaneous surface and interior work. The roadbed will maintain the same geometric characteristics as the existing one, namely, a roadway with an overall width of 9.5 meters. Among the main interventions in the area affected by the work will be the relocation of two major sewer collectors.
"The intervention," said Mayor Roberto Gualtieri, "reunites two places that had historically been on an axis, Castel Sant'Angelo and St. Peter's, a rift already opened with the first underpass. Via della Conciliazione is so named because it referred to conciliation with the Church. We want to move from conciliation to embracing the city and the Vatican with a work that is also challenging from an engineering point of view. This is not just an underpass but it is the return to the city of beautiful and very important spaces, in relation to the Tiber and in the relationship between the two monuments. It is not just a tunnel but a pedestrianization, a major urban redevelopment. On August 20-21, excavation will begin and we will work h24, 3 shifts of eight hours, non-stop."
From Monsignor Rino Fisichella, "Via della Conciliazione pedestrianized will be a unique thing, because having a perspective from Castel Sant'Angelo to St. Peter's will be a great, decisive and architecturally very significant improvement."
"As for the pilgrims' routes," he added, "we are studying a way, such that there will be a reserved sector to encourage prayer and singing and also; the recognition of pilgrims going to the Holy Door.”
How the road system is changing: Vittorio Emanuele Bridge to two-way traffic
The alternative road system designed to make way for the construction site includes changes in traffic directions for various streets, which will also affect bus routes, as well as several traffic light adjustments and work on some parking spaces and cab stands. The changes will take place in two main phases. Specifically, in the first ten days of August, to make way for work on the construction site in the area, the road axes connecting Piazza Adriana to Viale delle Milizie will become one-way: that of Via Virgilio-via Duilio-via Damiata will go in a northerly direction, while in the opposite direction, to the south, Via Fabio Massimo-via Terenzio will go.
In the second half of August, the physiological blockage of the traffic flow through Piazza Pia (construction area) going in the direction of the current underpass will result in a parallel direction change in the route that from Corso Vittorio Emanuele II now reaches the Prati district, passing through Via Traspontina and Via di Porta Castello. Therefore, these two streets, will run in the opposite direction to the current one, and Ponte Vittorio Emanuele will also become two-way English-style. The entrance to Borgo Pio and the Prati district will instead take place along Lungotevere Tor di Nona and Ponte Umberto I, in front of the Palazzaccio.
Modified routes for bus lines
Several bus lines will experience route changes. In particular, daytime lines 40, 62, 23, 280, 982 and nighttime lines n3D and n3S.
In particular, line 40 will be diverted to Lungotevere Tor di Nona - Ponte Umberto I - Piazza Adriana - Piazza Pia and then Borgo Sant'Angelo, where in the opposite direction to the current one it will effectively make its terminus (now inoperative). On the return journey it will instead head to the Lungotevere along Via Traspontina - San Pio X, respecting what will be the new direction of travel.
Line 62 will be extended to St. Peter's Station, on the same route as line 64.
A facility to study the impact of construction sites
"To Roman men and women," said Mayor Roberto Gualtieri, "we ask for patience. The Rome mobility services agency has studied traffic optimization with scientific tools, and we have set up an ‘ad hoc’ structure to study the impact of construction sites on traffic. In connecting construction sites, we have tried to avoid certain quadrants. Clearly, for example; the Industry Bridge is closed, but if we had not done that, we would have closed it permanently in 2026. There are interventions that are ameliorative and others that are indispensable, and all of them will improve the quality of life in the city."