There had always been a plan to connect Saint Peter's square with the Tiber but it was never put into action. Bernini himself had planned to build a covered colonnade straight through the Borgo to the river but at the time it was deemed too expensive. Mussolini stopped at nothing in his desire to remake the Roman Empire. You should see what he did with the part of Rome that stood on top of the remains of the Forum. It's amazing what a little fascist aggrandizement can achieve.No matter the origin, the via della conciliazione allows us to see Saint Peter's at full height, something that was not possible when the Borgo stood in the way. Jose J. Lopes
I agree with M Lopes. Mussolini's tear down of a section of the Borgo was a brilliant stroke. the basilica is today viewed in a stunning fashion.