Vernazza, January 2012: Work in Progress

Town of Vernazza, January 2012:

Work in Progress: Update on contracted projects in light of funds obtained from the Region of Liguria and Cinque Terre National Park, following damages caused by flooding and mudslides on October 25, 2011.

Despite the difficulties of its current situation, the Town of Vernazza is proceeding to contract new projects worth approximately 9.3 million Euro to secure the town, to enable Vernazza’s citizens to return to their homes and to reopen Vernazza to visitors.

Given the enormity of the damages and insufficient funds available to move forward with all projects, the Town Administration has prioritized projects requiring immediate action in the following areas:

Reconstruction of the Canal and Vernazzola River: Euro 3,686,790

The reconstruction of the Canal and Vernazzola River has been ongoing since October with further work to be completed in two phases by four separate construction companies to remove mud and debris from the riverbed, stabilize the embankments and reconstruct the river banks, the river mouth and the zones of Fontanavecchia to Pose and Vernazzola to Pian del Sorbo. The canal will be rebuilt to respect the new, wider riverbed, with new banks and a series of dikes to help diminish the speed of the river’s flow to the sea. The new canal is being designed to a significantly higher safety standard to avoid future flooding.

Stabilization of Hillsides: Euro 3,373,000

Seven construction companies are working to assess the landslides and stabilize and secure the hillsides in the following zones: Chiappa, Tentatore, Fontanavecchia, Piculla, Ria, Vernazzola riverbed, Prevo.

Restore Essential Municipal Services: Euro 1,235,000

Water Works: Euro 435,000
Current projects are underway to restore essential municipal services such as water and sewage that were completely destroyed from the flooding and mudslides of October 25, 2011.

Gas Works: Euro 500,000
By the end of January, the installation site for the town’s new gas (GPL) tank will be chosen. Work to restore the gas supply to all of Vernazza will be completed over the next four to five months. The town is also studying the viability of switching in part or whole to methane gas and renewable energy sources (wind, solar) over the next two years.

Irrigation Aqueduct: Euro 300,000
A current project is underway to restore the irrigation aqueduct that provides the water supply form the canal to areas where non-treated water is acceptable (sewage system, gardens, etc.)

Repairs to Hiking Trails: Euro 1,050,000

The Cinque Terre National Park will finance the repairs to the #2 hiking trails from Vernazza to Corniglia and Vernazza to Monterosso. While the repairs are underway, the Town of Vernazza and the Cinque Terre National Park will propose alternative hiking trails (examples included the #8, Vernazza to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Reggio; the numbers 7, 7a and 6d, Vernazza to Corniglia to Manarola)

Road Works

The Province of La Spezia has provided funds for urgent repairs to provincial Route 63, from Drignana through Reggio and on to Vernazza. Next week, the Comune of Vernazza along with the Region of Liguria, the Province of La Spezia and other competent parties will meet to discuss the project to reconstruct provincial Route 61 from San Bernadino to Vernazza (Route 61 was completely destroyed by flooding and currently is a hard-packed dirt road, closed to all traffic except those granted special permission).

In addition to providing details about the works in progress, Mayor Vincenzo Resasco wrote and posted the following message on January 15:
“Naturally the efforts to gather funds to rebuild Vernazza continue. I would like to thank all those that they are working incessantly for this. A special thought goes to our citizens who have handled and are handling this difficult situation with courage and dignity, above all the elderly and the children who more than anything want to return to their village. Our intent is to make that happen as soon as possible. Much work has been done, yet there is much still to do. Our love for Vernazza will keep us determined to move forward despite the difficult economic situation. We will not lose heart. A special thanks to all of the volunteers who are still here from that fateful day of October 25, 2011 and who, notwithstanding all the hardships, have never thought to leave Vernazza.”