Construction has already begun in Scandicci on Line 1 of Florence’s controversial Tramvia, and by the end of 2008 the much-debated system should be up and running. Both city officials and construction firms have made a solemn oath that the project will be completed on time.
Further, officials promise that a novel system will significantly reduce noise pollution and vibrations during both construction and operation through the use of special mattresses, rubber and railway crossbars.
According to engineers, the Tramvia route will be lined with mattresses during construction to diminish excess noise in highly populated areas. The railway tracks will be placed on crossbars instead of directly on a cemented surface, thus reducing vibrations and noise when the Tramvia is in operation. Lining the railway tracks with rubber will reduce noise during operation by three decibels.
Because this approach to reducing noise, dubbed ‘the Florence system’, is unique, city hall will apply for a patent.
Meanwhile citizens continue to protest the construction of the Tramvia. Outrage ensued after a city council meeting last week in which police officers identified and recorded the names of the protesters present. A host of public and private officials criticized officials at Palazzo Vecchio and the chief of police Alessandro Bartolini for having ‘put the principles of democracy at risk’.