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Abridged version

Letters

I found the tone of your comment on the Messina Bridge crossing (NCE 13 June) somewhat disturbing.

In its recent reassessment of the project, the Italian government makes use of the evidence and conclusions of the recent Price Waterhouse Cooper report and further explanation may help.

The cost is stated as £3.3bn - somewhat higher than that established by the industry and contractors - and ignores some of the latest time and cost reduction developments in suspension bridge construction.

It also includes extensive improvements in road and rail connections.

Also, at Messina, unlike the Humber Crossing, income from the existing ferries establishes a basic toll revenue even if only 80% of this is seen as transferable to the project.

The prime object is to provide the 5M residents of Sicily with a fixed link replacing the current inconvenient and expensive ferry system. Given an enterprising Pan-European approach and the co-operation of the current Italian government, this does now seem possible.

Dr William C Brown, Brown Beech & Associates, Orchard House, Adam & Eve Mews, 167-169 Kensington High Street, London, W8 6SH

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