Italy’s Astaldi S.p.A, Rome, leads one bidding consortium of Italian firms, also including Spain's Ferrovial Agroman S.A., Madrid. The team led by Milan-based Impregilo S.p.A. is also Italian dominated, but also has Spain’s Sacyr S.A., Madrid, and Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co. Ltd., of Japan, in its ranks. Meanwhile, six international firms have till this September to bid to become the owner’s project manager. Among them, Bechtel International Inc. and Parsons Brinckerhoff Ltd. are bidding alone/Louis Berger S.A.S. and Parsons Inc. are in rival international groups. 

Several prominent Eurpoean design firms and contractors have withdrawn from competition to construct the high-profile crossing, a dream of bridge engineers for centuries, citing insufficient time to prepare bids.

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ith one consortium pulling out of the bidding claiming insufficient preparation time, two contractors’ teams submitted proposals on May 25 to become general contractor on the estimated $5.7-billion Messina Strait bridge between Italy and Sicily. The project’s owner, the state’s Stretto di Messina S.p.A., aims to make an award late this summer for preliminary construction to start next year. The winner is scheduled to complete draft designs for the 3.7-km crossing, with a 3.3-km suspended main span, this year.