ITALIAN CONTRACTOR Impregilo last week clinched the contract to build the world's longest suspension bridge with a bid £343M cheaper than the client's target cost.
Impregilo's bid also shaved eight months off client Stretto di Messina's six and a half year construction schedule.
The 3.3km Strait of Messina crossing, between mainland Italy and Sicily, will be nearly 1.5km longer than the current single span world record holder, Japan's Akashi Kaikyo bridge.
Bids were weighted 65% on technical, logistical and operational criteria, and 45% on price.
Impregilo and the only other bidder, Astaldi, were closely matched on the technical, logistical and operational content of their bids.
Impregilo heads a consortium of Italian firms comprising Sacyr, Società Italiana Perondotte D'Acqua, Cooperativa Muratori & Cementisti, ACI, and Japanese firm IshikawajimaHarima Heavy Industries.
The consortium's outturn costs are projected at £2.77bn, down from £3.1bn.
Ian Firth, partner at bridge design specialist Flint & Neill and technical advisor to Stretto di Messina, said that both bids were highly detailed.
'The amount of research Impregilo and Astaldi have managed to do in a very short [tender] period has been astonishing.
'They both managed to address the major technical and logistical risks.' A consortium led by German firm Strabag pulled out of bidding in April.