Bobcat in the works for the Jubilee in Rome

Bobcat in the works for the Jubilee in Rome

There is great expectation among the faithful around the world, for the Jubilee 2025, renamed the Jubilee of Hope, an event held every 25 years to mark a Holy Year of grace and forgiveness.

The next Jubilee year will begin on 24 December 2024 with an event where the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome will be opened and is expected to be the most attended ever, with the historical moment marked by dramatic international events and an expected 32 million pilgrims visiting St. Peter’s Square.

An event of this magnitude requires a number of interventions to ensure the best accessibility for the millions of pilgrims and visitors who will pass through the walls of Rome to be part of the occasion. Particular attention is being paid to the access routes to the Jubilee sites and to the renovation of the historic pavements, roads and streets in Rome.

In fact, many Roman streets still retain today the ancient paving design of old, made up of cubic pavement stones called ‘sanpietrini’ and many of these are used in the historic centre of Rome and in St. Peter’s Square, which contribute to preserving the authentic atmosphere of the city and offering a journey into the past of this thousand-year-old city.

Construction Sites Entirely Entrusted to Bobcat

The company, Squalo 7 Srl, based in Rome, is an expert in road works and has been entrusted with the task of resurfacing and upgrading the historical paving of the streets adjacent to the plaza and colonnades of St. Peter’s Square.

The work, strongly supported by the Papal State, involves the replacement of the current paving stones. For this type of work, a Bobcat E55z excavator was decisive, responsible for the deep removal of the entire pavement, from the delicate operation of extracting the stone blocks to the ground below. The work was begun just outside St. Peter’s Square and will continue for a total area of 7055 square metres.

Angelo Melato, Works Director of the Public Works Department of Roma Capitale, explains: “The Bobcat E55z excavator exceeded our expectations, demonstrating an extraordinary ability to remove pavement extensions well beyond traditional limits and handling a considerable number of square metres per day. This is crucial for a construction site in a high-traffic area that requires road closures. The construction site started in November 2023 and is to be completed by May 2024. It was therefore necessary to divide the operation into four operational phases in order to allow for the traffic flow in a high-traffic area. The E55z, thanks to its performance, ensures that we meet the stipulated timeframe and thus helps to facilitate traffic flow.”

The E55z is also distinguished by its ZHS (Zero House Swing) design. A true zero house swing, designed to meet the challenges of urban construction sites where limited space and the need to maximise efficiency require more flexible and manoeuvrable solutions.

During the paving removal operation, the Bobcat E55z mini-excavator also performs the important task of partially cleaning the cobblestones. This operation is made possible by the use of a special Bobcat skeleton bucket, which is ideal for removing dirt, stones and other debris from the stone blocks with ease.

In the next stage, the E55z excavator loads the stone blocks into the bucket of the S530 loader that forms part of the Bobcat fleet on site, which then transports them to an area for thorough cleaning. Here, each individual stone block is carefully sorted and cleaned manually using a hammer, which removes adhering asphalt.

Two other protagonists at the construction site are Bobcat E20z and E17 mini-excavators which play a crucial role in preparing the road surface. The two mini-excavators level the ground, restoring the surface to its original shape and compact the bedding composed of volcanic gravel, so that it is ready for laying the cobblestones.

The loader can then transport the reclaimed cobblestones to the laying point where the installers manually place them one by one. The work is completed by pouring, joint by joint, an innovative polyurethane epoxy resin that guarantees the pavement has durability and is safe to use, an essential aspect for roads with high traffic, even when they are heavy vehicles. 24 hours later, the newly laid pavement is driveable.

Daniele Germani, site manager of the Squalo 7 company, states: “For years we have been loyal to Bobcat equipment, which satisfies us so much that we have an exclusive presence on our many construction sites in Rome and beyond. Our fleet is full of several excavators and skid steer loaders, and is constantly evolving. In fact, we have just purchased a Bobcat T590 loader and an E10z mini-excavator. We have always relied on MCI Lazio for the purchase of Bobcat equipment, using the expertise of Raffaele Proietti. His professionalism has always been a guarantee of a prompt response to our every need.”

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