A bridge that repurposes abandoned viaducts, produces energy AND looks futuristically sleek? Yes, it can be true, and it is Italy’s proposed Wind Turbine Viaduct called “Solar Wind.” Southern Italy is dotted with unused viaducts, and rather than spending $50 million to tear them down, town officials near Calabria held a competition called “Solar Park South,” open to designers and engineers asking them to come up with an environmentally conscious way to re-use the existing structures.
Solar Wind, conceived by the design team of Francesco Colarossi, Giovanna Saracino and Luisa Saracino, has an abundance of green benefits. Using the space between the viaduct, the team proposed installing 26 wind turbines, which would produce 36 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year!
Additionally, the roadway across the bridge would be densely lined with solar cells coated in clear plastic, producing another 11.2 million kilowatt hours. Much like New York’s Highline, but on a much more grandiose scale, the entire viaduct itself would be turned into a promenade and park. Drivers may pull off to take in gorgeous coastal views, solar powered greenhouses would be installed along the bridge, creating an ultra-fresh farmer’s market.
The entire structure is like a green Utopia, repurposing abandoned structures, producing a combined 40 million kilowatt hours of electricity (that is enough to power 15,000 homes), while creating a chance to take in the surrounding panoramic views, and buy the freshest of produce! Sounds much better than merely tearing down the old viaducts.