Sunday, October 13, 2013

First test of Venice's 5.4 billion euro flood barriers

Terra Daily via AFP: Flood-prone Venice on Saturday carried out the first test of its 5.4 billion euro ($7.3 billion) barrier system known as "Moses", designed to protect the Renaissance city from rising sea levels. The ambitious engineering project involves installing 78 mobile barriers divided into four sections at the three inlets to the Venice lagoon, with the largest inlet divided in half by an artificial island.

Fifty companies have been involved in the massive project overseen by the Venezia Nuova consortium, which has been dogged by delays, environmental concerns and scandal. On Saturday, dozens of officials including Italian Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi were on hand for the first test of the system.

They looked on as four floating barriers were raised at the lagoon's eastern Lido inlet. "This is a very important and emotional moment," Venice Mayor Giorgio Orsoni told AFP.

"This will change the view one may have about the city and its lagoon, because don't forget, it is a whole, the city and the lagoon are one." Orsoni added that Venice was "not an amusement park, it is a living city.. and this is a demonstration"....

Aerial view of the MOSE Project in Venice, Porto di Lido (Channel north of Lido) in Mid-2009. Shot by Chris 73 / Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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