Alto Adriatico motorways, record traffic in 2023 (and stable rates)

4 min read

The key points

  • The hot spots
  • The third lane
  • Forecasts

2023 ended with record traffic overall on the motorway sections of the A4 (Venice – Trieste), A23 (Udine Sud – Palmanova), A34 (Villesse – Gorizia) and A28 (Portogruaro – Pordenone – Conegliano). Although the data are still provisional, considering the historical series, in the year that has just ended the maximum number of transits ever recorded on the toll network was recorded with over 50 million transits (to be precise 50 million and 330 thousand ) and a +5.80% compared to 2022. Of these, 36 million 200 thousand were light vehicles (+7.13%) and 14 million 130 thousand were heavy vehicles (+2.53%). Overall, 2 billion 600 million kilometers were traveled by vehicles. Almost all motorway toll booths were positive with the Trieste Lisert barrier which achieved a +5.36% compared to 2022 to which must be added the 2.02% of Villesse (barrier increasingly used as a bypass for Slovenia in the summer period ). Traffic is also increasing in Udine Sud (+7.19%) for those heading to the Friulian capital or towards mountain locations; San Donà (3.48%) and Latisana (+1.55%) for the seaside resorts and the barrier of Cordignano (+9.77%) due to the connection with the Pedemontana Veneta.

Summer traffic in Latisana

The hot spots

As far as Villesse is concerned, the reference is above all to summer: when columns of cars form at the Trieste/Lisert barrier and queues reach 3 kilometres, through the variable message signs, the vehicles are redirected to the Villesse barrier. Via the A34 vehicles can access Slovenia and then Croatia via a slightly longer but certainly shorter route. As for the Pedemotana Veneta, recently inaugurated in its final stretch, it allows you to connect the A27 (owned by Autostrade per l’Italia) and consequently the A28 (owned by Autostrade Alto Adriatico) with the A4 in Montecchio, in the Vicenza area (A4 Holding) . Since April 2023 (when the Pedemontana connection with the A27 and then A28 was opened) an increase in traffic has been noticed at the Cordignano barrier because it allows the A4 traffic to be bypassed “upstream”.

Summer traffic at the Lisert barrier

Strategic corridor

The increase in traffic confirms the strategic nature of the motorway network of Autostrade Alto Adriatico, the “in house” concessionaire of the two regions of Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto, which took over from Autovie Venete on 1 July this year. In fact it is the gateway to Italy for those coming from North Eastern Europe (Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Czech Republic) towards Northern Italy; Furthermore, the A4 (Venice – Trieste) is included in the Mediterranean Corridor from Spain to Hungary as a logistics hub for the transport of goods. On the tourism front, the A4 touches the main seaside tourist destinations in the North East such as Lignano, Bibione, Caorle, Jesolo. In the summer alone, during the exodus and counter-exodus periods, over 2 million holidaymakers travel along this motorway on their way to neighboring Slovenia and Croatia. The increase in transits at all toll booths (see Udine) also denotes the attractiveness of the economy and production sites of the two regions.

The third lane

It is not just a question of adapting the motorway, but of building an entire roadway because dozens of overpasses, underpasses and bridges must be demolished and rebuilt to also adapt them to a possible future fourth lane. It is a 95 kilometer route according to the original project (from Quarto d’Altino to San Donà) started in 2011 and which has now been completed for almost two thirds (about 60 kilometres). The section between Portogruaro and Alvisopoli will be opened by March, which will allow the three-lane A4 to be connected to the A28/A27 bypass and consequently the Pedemontana Veneta. Construction of the flyovers between Portogruaro and San Donà, the last Venetian stretch, is expected to begin in March. Where the third lane was built, accidents were reduced by two thirds compared to those recorded when the construction site was in the area. Overall, accidents were reduced across the entire network last year: 628 in 2023 compared to 640 in 2022; 151 were injured (there were 169 in 2022); 5 fatalities (there were 14 in 2022), and this despite the fact that transits increased by 2 million 750 thousand units compared to 2022.

Three-lane stretch in the Alvisopoli area

The third lane is a work worth more than two billion in total: over a billion has been invested in 10 years, the majority of which is the result of revenues from user tolls; a smaller part, 150 million in 2013, came from the state.

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