Venice (AFP) May 1, 2011
Flood-prone Venice has launched an ambitious plan to build mobile barriers at the mouth of its lagoon and protect the city from rising sea levels.
About 3,000 people are involved in the "Moses" project, which costs 5.4 billion euros ($7.9 billion), and is scheduled for completion in 2014.
"Once finished, the system will protect Venice from high water levels of up to three metres," said architect Flavia Faccioli from the Venezia Nuova consortium, grouping some 50 companies involved in the project.
"We're on schedule so far. We have already carried out three billion euros worth of works and will be carrying out the first test next July," Faccioli told AFP.
The 78 giant box-shaped barriers will be divided into four sections at the head of the three inlets that link the lagoon with the Adriatic Sea.
They will be inserted into immense tanks on the sea floor. Should high waters threaten the city, pressured air will be pumped into the barriers, raising them up on hinges to block the tidal flow.
Once the danger has passed, the air will be expelled and the barriers would fill with water and sink back to the sea floor.
"We are building 11 crates at the same time," Enrico Pellegrini, the head engineer at one of the building sites, told reporters as they inspected the ongoing works at the Malamocco inlet.
Special cement and non-oxidizing steel have been used for the 60-metre wide girders which, at 27 metres high, are as tall as a seven-storey building.
"The biggest girders weigh 22,000 tons and will be transported, like the others, by wagons specially designed for the purpose by Norwegian company. Each can take up to 350 tons, the equivalent of a Boeing 747," he said.
It will then take up to three days for a "syncrolift" system -- usually used to help ships dock -- to transfer the tanks to the sea bed.
"It's a remarkable project, one of the most important in Italy and the world," Venice's mayor Giovanni Orsoni said.
Venice, which sank by 23 centimetres (nine inches) in the last century, is hoping that the "Moses" project will help it preserve its buildings and rid its majestic squares of flood waters once and for all.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics
The North Sea, Germany (AFP) April 15, 2011
The blue-hulled vessel would slip by unnoticed on most seas if not for the white kite, high above her prow, towing her to what its creators hope will be a bright, wind-efficient future. The enormous kite, which looks like a paraglider, works in tandem with the ship's engines, cutting back on fuel consumption, costs, and carbon footprint. "Using kites you can harness more energy than with ... read more
Day of prayer as US south mourns tornado victims|
New material could improve safety for first responders to chemical hazards
Japan passes 4 trillion yen disaster relief budget
Quake-hit Japan open for business: foreign minister
Thousands queue for iPad 2 across Asia
New polymer structures for use as plastic electronics
NIST nanomagnets offer food for thought about computer memories
Chinese pay price for world's rare earths addiction
New biomass data reveals fish stocks more stable than believed
Filthy toilets a blight on Asian prosperity
Venice turns to floating barriers to ward off flood threats
U.S. land mass is shrinking
Calling all candidates for Concordia
Melting ice on Arctic islands a major player in sea level rise
ESA-NASA Collaboration Furthers Sea-Ice Research
Melting ice on Arctic islands boosts sea levels: study
How the fruit fly made its way out of Africa
Scorpion venom bad for bugs but good for pesticides
China food scandals spark new safety fears
Stressed out crop impede higher agriculture yields
Japan mulls tsunami lessons for reconstruction
Ecuador on alert after volcano erupts
Forecasters predict multiple US hurricane landfalls
Rain is Colombia's 'worst' natural disaster: Santos
Diehard pro-Gbagbo militia begin to disarm
Disaster-hit Japan will not cut aid to Africa: spokesman
Darfur rebels reject draft Doha accord
Nigeria holds final polls despite violence
From day one the brain knows the difference between night and day
Grandma was right Infants do wake up taller
Chinese population ageing, moving to the cities
Evolution of human 'super-brain' tied to development of bipedalism, tool-making
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|