Autostrada A3 (Italy)
The motorway by Torre Annunziata
|Autostrade of Italy
The Autostrada A3 is a motorway in Southern Italy, which runs from Naples to Salerno, in the region Campania.
Until 2017 the route was much longer, going after Salerno further south until Reggio Calabria; on this year, this section became part of the new A2 motorway and of its two spur routes.
Due to sections not being originally constructed to anywhere near Motorway standard and to the notoriously poor conditions of maintenance, and also to the difficult terrain along some of the route, the motorway has been often taken as a symbol of the backwardness and economical problems of southern Italy. Italian historian Leandra D'Antone has defined it "a true Italian shame". The European Union declines to classify the road as a “motorway” due to the decades-long roadwork restrictions on a supposedly modern road and seeks recompense for its financial contributions.
On 22 December 2016 the Salerno-Reggio Calabria freeway was declared 'complete', 55 years after the first works started, with the opening of Larìa tunnel in Cosenza. In a ceremony held in Reggio Calabria, prime minister Paolo Gentiloni begged pardon "for the delay" and the road name was changed from "A3 Salerno-to-Reggio Calabria" to "A2 Autostrada del Mediterraneo" (Highway of the Mediterranean).
The first stretch of the road to be completed was the Naples-Pompeii section, finished on 22 June 1929. The connection onward to Salerno was completed on 16 July 1961.
In 1964 the Italian government decided to build a motorway which connected the rest of Italy to Calabria, so far considered a kind of "Third Island" (together with Sicily and Sardinia), due to the nature of its terrain, which made it problematic to reach the region. The new motorway was built in a total of 8 years, the works being delivered on 13 June 1974.
The road built by 1974 is more similar to a sub-standard freeway (Italian: strada statale, "state road") than to the other autostrade (motorways) in Italy. Queues became a common feature, especially in summer. To solve the situation, the Italian government funded renovation works in 1997. As of 2010[update], many of them are still ongoing, despite it being announced in 1993 that the works would be completed by 2003. The EU antifraud investigation of works undertaken between 2007 and 2010 together with the repayment of over €300m to the EU in July 2012 have delayed completion of the upgrade works even further.
The cost of the upgrade (in August 2013) was projected to reach over €10bn by the time it was eventually completed, then envisaged as perhaps by 2018. The section from Salerno to Reggio Calabria alone, 442 km long, would cost €10bn with the rest spent on widening/upgrades already completed between Naples and Salerno. €7.443 Bn had been spent up to 2011 on parts of the 442 km section between Salerno and Reggio Calabria.
Most of the works were completed by 2015.
The entire road was constructed as a substandard freeway by the mid 1970s and later an upgrade program from Naples to Reggio Calabria started in the early 1990s. The section with three lanes in each direction has a length of 105 km, between Naples and RA02 which goes towards Potenza. The section from the interchange with the A1 motorway in Naples to the Pompeii exit, built during the 1920s, originated as a local turnpike, and was later retrofitted to motorway standard. Many of the junctions along the original A3 route completed in the 1970s had very tight corners and extremely limited deceleration fields; this is especially significant on the now more than 50-year-old Naples-Salerno section, where at some junctions there are stop-signs for traffic entering the motorway. Hard shoulders only appeared along the route as part of the post 1990 upgrades, with only occasional emergency bays at infrequent locations on the sections that have not been upgraded yet. Much of the route is often congested even where upgraded. The concession of the Northern part was owned by Autostrade Meridionali, a company listing in Borsa Italiana and a subsidiary of Autostrade per l'Italia, which in turn a subsidiary of Atlantia.
The southern segment (Salerno-Reggio Calabria) is toll-free and is maintained by ANAS, the state agency for public routes. Located in a mountainous area, it is prone to very high levels of traffic (especially at the start and at the end of holiday periods) and is known for the bad state of maintenance compared to other Italian motorways. ANAS has been slowly upgrading this section during the last three decades.
The motorway underwent heavy modernisation, in many cases a completely new parallel motorway was built alongside the original A3 and involved in most cases a complete rebuilding or replacement of the road where the alignment was retained.
By August 2014, works on 391 km of the road (88%) were completed. 16 more km of rebuilding/modernization was then due to be completed.
A number of new junctions were also to be constructed, in some cases to service certain towns with no direct access at present.
In May 2015 then prime minister Renzi indicated that the upgrade programme would be terminated by 2016.
Sections to be 'maintained' in future rather than upgraded to Motorway standard are:
Morano Calabro - Firmo, from km 185 + 000 to km 206 + 500: 21 km *Former Macrolotto 3.4
Cosenza - Altilia, from km 259 + 700 to km 286: 26 km *Former Macrolottos 4.1 4.2.1 and 4.2.2
Pizzo Calabro - S.Onofrio, from km 337 + 800 to km 348 + 600: 11 km *Former Macrolotto 5 (originally scheduled for completion 2012)
Maintenance will involve pavement and structural renewal and is projected to cost €1bn between 2016 and 2021 instead of the €3bn that ANAS projected as the cost of fully upgrading the 3 remaining sections.
also abandoned were a number of planned junctions.
The motorway standard road will terminate at Campo Calabro approximately 10 km to the north of Reggio Calabria, and the remaining 10 km of old A3 into Reggio Calabria will not be upgraded to full motorway standards.
|A2 AUTOSTRADA DEL MEDITERRANEO: NAPOLI - REGGIO CALABRIA|
|Napoli San Giovanni a Teduccio||2,5||46,1||NA|
|Roma, Firenze, Bologna, Milano||2,5||4,1||NA|
|Napoli Ponticelli-S.Giorgio Nord||5,5||45,2||NA|
|San Giorgio a Cremano||6,4||45,2||NA|
|Torre del Greco (Nord)||11,5||40,1||NA|
|Torre Annunziata Nord||15,0||36,6||NA|
|Torre Annunziata Sud||20,0||31,6||NA|
|Castellammare di Stabia||22,5||29,1||NA|
|Cava de' Tirreni||42,9||8,7||SA|
|Vietri sul Mare||48,4||3,2||SA|
| RA02 Avellino
Napoli - Canosa
|San Mango Piemonte||7,3||435,7||SA|
| Sicignano - Potenza
|Padula - Buonabitacolo||104,0||338,9||SA|
| Cosenza Nord
|Rogliano - Grimaldi||273,0||169,9||CS|
|San Mango d'Aquino||294,0||148,9||CZ|
| Lamezia Terme
SGC Jonio-Tirreno: Marina di Gioiosa Ionica
|Service area "Rosarno"||390,0||56,9||RC|
|Santa Trada of Cannitello (cancelled from 2008)||423,0||RC|
|Service area "Villa San Giovanni"||433,0||10,0||RC|
| Villa San Giovanni
Car ferry to Sicily
|Reggio Catona - Arghillà||436,0||6,9||RC|
| Reggio maritime port - Promenade
Car ferry to Sicily
|RA04 Reggio Calabria - SS106||442,5||0,4||RC|
|Reggio Calabria Nord||442,9||0,0||RC|
- (in Italian) ...una vera e propria «vergogna italiana», in La storia della Salerno Reggio Calabria Archived July 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, book about Salerno-Reggio Calabria
- Organised crime may be behind problems with southern motorway: Awkward questions remain about Italian infrastructure, in 
- "Salerno-to-Reggio Calabria complete". ANSA. 22 December 2016.
- "Da oggi A2, l'Autostrada del Mediterraneo. Gentiloni: "Scusate per il ritardo"". calabriapage.it (in Italian).
- (in Italian) l'autostrada, completamente statale e senza pedaggio, con le sue due corsie, somiglia più ad una strada statale Salerno-Reggio Calabria: L’autostrada che non c'è Archived February 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, La Soria siamo noi, Rai Educational, in which the A3 is defined "the most devastated motorway stretch in Italy".
- Completion of the upgrade work has been, as of 2010, postponed to 2012-13, see: (in Italian)Autostrade: Salerno-Reggio Calabria pronta per 2012-2013 Archived July 13, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, ItaliaInformazione, July 8, 2009
-  Italy Repays €307m to EU after Road Project Mafia Corruption.
- "Archived copy" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2011-08-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Stradaneanas Works Update (in Italian)
- (in Italian)repubblica.it Around €10bn projected for Salerno = Reggio upgrade 06 March 2011 (in Italian)
- Photos and videos of the Salerno-Reggio Calabria "scandal" at A3 Salerno-Reggio Calabria:uno Scandalo! Archived April 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, radicalweb.org, January 23, 2010
- (in Italian) Viaggio dall’A3 al traghettamento sullo Stretto Archived July 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, terrelibere.org, August 7, 2009
- (in Italian) Salerno Reggio Calabria ed il General Contractor unico Archived July 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Le strade, may 2007
- (in Italian)ANAS Update Summer 2014 Archived September 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- Pietro Ciucci ANAS CEO Speech in Brussels 14 November 2012 (English)
- "Prime Minister announces completion A3 by 2016, here is the current situation/Premier annuncia completamento A3 entro 2016, ecco la situazione attuale". La Metino. 18 May 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
- "A3 Upgrade History". Stradeanas. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
- "'Maintenance' Plan Infographic March 2016 ( Italian)" (PDF). Stradeanas. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 19, 2016.
- "Autostrada A3: Lotto 5 Pizzo Calabro - Sant'Onofrio" (in Italian). Retrieved 30 December 2016.
- "Sa-Rc, only maintenance for the last 58 km/Sa-Rc, solo manutenzione per gli ultimi 58 chilometri". Il Sole 24. Il Sole 24. 11 March 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
- "Prime Minister announces completion A3 by 2016, here is the current situation". La Metino. 18 May 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to A3 Motorway.|
- SAM SpA (in Italian)
- ANAS SpA (in Italian)
- https://web.archive.org/web/20100403054355/http://radicalweb.org/2010/01/a3-salerno-reggio-calabriauno-scandalo-nazionale-il-dossierle-fotoi-video/ Historical perspective and state of the Salerno-Reggio Calabria] (in Italian)