Wind Turbine Bridge Transforms Italian Viaduct Into Public Space

by , 02/05/11

Technology, sustainable architecture, bridges, italy, roads, solar panels, solar roads, wind power, wind turbines, wind energy, solar energy

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.

Technology, sustainable architecture, bridges, italy, roads, solar panels, solar roads, wind power, wind turbines, wind energy, solar energy

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.

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  1. darrylecook July 14, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    A giant bird grinder.

  2. realarchitect February 23, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Are these viaducts designed to take the substantially increased lateral wind loads that these infill elements would place on the structure ?

  3. Deepak Sela July 3, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Instead of having turbines, why not just line it with solar panels and leave it at that. I’ve had this idea a while ago for having solar panel bridges because they are high up in the air and get almost all the sunlight that is hitting them. That way, it will cost less money and not be so luxurious. I’m sure using this bridge will have several tolls to maintain everything. I run a blog that deals with environmental issues and ect..please check it out on I will be posting about this idea later in the week.

  4. claude.beck3 July 3, 2012 at 2:24 am

    Calabria has been notorious for its unneeded roads and infrastructures, voted by corrupt, Mafia payrolled politicians. That system made the mobsters immensely rich,while keeping the province below the poverty line. No wonder , these viaducts are now already obsolete and need to be disposed of after such short times. At the tune of 50’000’000 $ per year, the same Mafia would be in for half. On the other hand, there could be more money made in wind turbines without the risk of a demolition, exposing many skeletons inside the concrete filling of those arches. Whether the project works is not their problem, as more millions will have to be pored into maintenace.

  5. Kristophr July 2, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Stupid and expensive feel-good actions.

    The electricity produced will not pay for the cost of maintaining the windmills or the generators.

  6. fiddlybits June 26, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Because these turbines are within a frame, they could have mesh screens on both sides to keep birds from hitting them. The screens would be seen by the birds, who could then avoid flying into it, as well as preventing them from getting sucked in by the wind. The mesh would need to have small holes, not more than 2″ (5 cm)wide, so the birds don’t think of perching there, and made of thin but strong material with minimum wind-resistance.

  7. m_a_r45 February 15, 2011 at 1:03 am

    This is ridiculous. An experiment in art, call in green so the public will pay. How will designing non optimised renewable energy systems save the world.

  8. lazyreader February 7, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Leave it to the Italians to design something that looks like a wine rack.

  9. isabelingeniera February 5, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    The whole idea looks great, but a questions comes to my mind. Is the old structure ready to undergo the stresses and vibrations caused by the wind turbines?

  10. clhoke February 5, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Love this, but how will the birds cope?

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