MoSE, 210 million Euro more required. Completion delayed until 2020.

The completion date of the work slips, the costs rise: the Commissioners outline the new timetable

By Alberto Zorzi

VENEZIA: Five billion and 493 million Euro will not be enough. Not even six months remain from today to meet the deadline for the completion of work, which was set for 31 December 2018.  Now comes news that it will require another 210 million and two years more of work to finish MoSE, the system of mobile dams that will protect Venice from high water. The Consorzio Venezia Nuova (CVN) explains that there are actually more parts of the work that were either not planned for or that were not financed, and above all that do not require new funding, seeing that 410 million have “popped up”  – money that the State had set aside for payments and then never spent it. But in the dance of numbers that has for years rotated around the giant work at the mouths of the port of the lagoon, now there is a new timetable and new expenses: the administrators of CVN, who were nominated three years ago after the bribery scandal, presented these to the consulting committee, which includes representatives of the businesses of the consortium, and to the director, Roberto Linetti. “The total cost of work still to be done comes to almost 800 million Euro – write Giuseppe Fiengo and Francesco Ossola – This cost, added to the amount already spent for the “MoSE System” as of 31 March 2018, equal to 4.9 billion Euro, gives a total of 5.7 billion (net cost from the start of the work)”. “Taking this into account – the letter continues – it immediately becomes clear that there is a need for more financing of about 210 million Euro”.

The details are given in the attached timetable, nine pages full of numbers, in which all the measures needed to finish MoSE are summarized one by one. There are over 400 jobs for a total cost of 996 million Euro, of which, however, almost two hundred million have already been committed: therefore there is a need for 801.6 million, 210 more than the previous estimate. “There is money”, stated CVN, hoping to avoid political fights. From a quick overview we find that 293 million will need to be spent to complete the projects at the three mouths of the port: 94.4 for Lido, 87.5 for Malamocco, 111.2 for Chioggia, of which a total of 140 million concerns the sourcing and installation of the control and electrical systems, and almost 30 million for the architectural integration of the control buildings. 105.7 million Euro are required to complete the transformation of the Arsenale into a large maintenance “factory” for MoSE, where the dams will be checked, adjusted as needed and repainted.

Next there are 151.6 million for the so-called “Europa Plan”, that is environmental mitigation and the restoration of canals and natural habitats, but also of Fort San Felice at Chioggia and of the “waterfront” of Cavallino Treporti (and this is one of the points that was not fully financed and now will be); 146 million for the development of an information service for the preliminary studies of the maintenance and management of the work and for other “joint projects” (for now 45 million), apart from any further interventions requested by the Superintendent; finally 72.4 million (apart from the 11 and half already spent) will be required to finish finding solutions for problems and obstacles identified in the last three years: from the 8.5 million to fix the jack-up (the boat that installs the dams) to the 12.5 for the implants damaged by a sea swell, to the 28 million to resolve the problems with the openings to the navigational basin of Malamocco to the 19 million to replace parts that are damaged by corrosion earlier than predicted and so on, between removal of sediment, repairs to the hinges and new studies. The operating cost of CVN, which every year that passes has to pay for its offices, as well as salaries to its employees, is not quantified.

From the timeline it is clear that 2021 is now the date for completion of the work at the three mouths of the port: February for Malamocco, April for Lido, July for Chioggia. And if it’s true that the last construction yards will be for “beautifying” the buildings, the installation of these facilities will not happen before 2020. “But meanwhile we can test MoSE with provisional facilities”, says CVN. In the accounting there are also 20 million (plus 2 million for design) to waterproof Piazza San Marco, which often floods due to the water that comes up from the storm drains and 2 million for work already in progress to mitigate water at the Basilica.

Source: Corriere del Veneto, 3 July 2018

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