L'autostrada Torino–Milano

The history of the Turin-Milan Motorway dates back to the 1920s when Senator Frola, supported by the Province and Municipality of Turin, Touring, ACI and other private and public bodies set up a Committee to promote the feasibility study for the work and initiate the preliminary design.
The actual construction however began at the will of Senator Agnelli and engineer Francesco
Cartesegna who established the company "S.A. Autostrada Torino–Milano, becoming respectively Chairman and Managing Director / General Director. In 1929 they signed the agreement for the construction and running of the works.
Senator Agnelli was in fact one of the first to understand the need for special roads for motor vehicles, also and above all to promote the sale of cars.
The construction lasted less than 3 years and the motorway was inaugurated in October 1932.
The motorway offered a new and important connection between Turin and Milan, and together with the other motorways – Bergamo-Milan, Brescia-Bergamo (already opened) and Venice-Padua (under construction) it was part of the planned“Turin-Trieste Alpine Foothill Motorway".
At that time, the railway built in the 19th century had not yet created a suitable, fast and direct connection between the 2 cities.
The essentially straight route was an intermediate choice between 2 possibilities (a "direct" route passing through Vercelli, and another more western route passing through Novara), to satisfy both the interests of the farming communities of the "plains" and the textiles industries around Biella.

The motorway starts in Turin, at the intersection of Corso Giulio Cesare and SS no. 11 "Padana Superiore", and ends in Milan, at the Milan-Lakes and Milan-Bergamo intersection, measuring a total of 126 km, along a mostly straight route.
The motorway crosses the major rivers Dora Baltea, Sesia and Ticino, and smaller rivers Malone, Orco, Elvo, Cervo, Rovasenda, Agogna, Terdoppio.
There are also 9 railway bridges, 5 crossings over state roads, 13 over provincial roads, 54 over municipal roads and 82 over local and private roads.
Right from the outside, the traffic grew consistently, thanks also to the toll rate policies adopted by the company, which applied relatively low tolls; the average daily traffic doubled in a short period of seven years.
Vehicle traffic went from around 700,000 journeys/year in the first years of motorway operation to over 35,000,000 today, and the infrastructure has changed greatly, adapting to the evolving needs of its users.
In particular in 1953, following a dramatic increase in traffic, the carriageway was widened from the original 8 metres to 10 metres and in 1962, on the threshold of Italy's great period of industrialisation, the motorway was doubled.
At the beginning of the Seventies, finally, the motorway was developed to three lanes in each direction.
The motorway is divided into two stretches: a so-called “open system” where the toll is paid at a barrier and the intermediate exits have no toll station, and a “closed system” where the toll paid depends on the mileage covered.

Along the motorway route, at an average distance of 7 km apart, 16 entrance/exit stations were built, at the junctions with the most important ordinary roads; particular care was taken in the arrangement of the station buildings.
There is a total of 4 interconnections with other motorways, 7 exits without toll stations, 11 exit toll stations and 2 end barriers.
An access to the new Milan Trade Fair Pole is currently under completion.
The labour force used during the 30 month-long works fluctuated around an average daily rate of 2,000 workers, with peaks of 3,100; the final cost of the works was around 110 million lire at that time (875,000 lire per km), more than 20% less than the cost budgeted in the executive design.
The works were located in a catchment area that was bound to be profitable; with a well-designed financial architecture, the private capital (mostly FIAT) thus managed to ensure the use of a work built largely with public funds.
However, the shareholders never took advantage of any dividends on the profits; their investment was rather generally guaranteed by the value of the motorway, the amortization rates set aside to an amount of approximately half of what was estimated.


The Turin-Piacenza Motorway

In July 1960, the Province of Turin promoted the establishment of SATAP, the company which went on to build and run the Turin-Piacenza motorway.
The founding partners were the Province and the Municipality of Turin, the San Paolo Banking Institute, the Cassa di Risparmio di Torino and Fiat.
Among the most enthusiastic supported of the project was the then-mayor of Turin, Avv.
Guglielminetti and the chairman of the Province of Turin, Prof. Grosso.

Connecting Piedmont, Central Italy and the Port of Genoa, the road played a huge role in socio-economic development.
The concession was granted in February 1963, and the following year the works began, lasting over 5 years.
The road was progressively inaugurated between December '68 and December '69.
The connection with the Autostrada del Sole was completed in '72, with the Piacenza-Brescia in '73, and with the A7 Milan-Genoa in 1987.

At that time, the railway built in the 19th century had not yet created a suitable, fast and direct connection between the 2 cities.
The total cost of building the motorway was approximately 130 billion lire of the time (800 million lire per km).
There are 35 bridges and 140 flyovers, all built with solutions which at the time were technologically advanced.
The most important works currently in progress include the removal of the Piacenza Ovest barrier and the direct interconnection with the A1 Milan-Bologna and the A21 Piacenza-Brescia.