MoSE, serious problems and uncertainties about underwater maintenance


With maintenance years overdue and the work tied up in litigation, Commissioner Spitz writes to the Superintendent and Consorzio commissioners: “When will the contract bid happen?” Appeals to the TAR are set to be heard in October.

By Alberto Vitucci

6 June 2020

VENEZIA. “How much time will be needed for the maintenance of the dams at Treporti? When will the contract bid for 37 million Euros happen, after being announced two years ago then blocked?” After the inauguration of the barriers of Chioggia and Treporti, now it is the dams at Lido causing the most concern, and creating uncertainty about the near future of the giant project.

And so the Sblocca Cantieri Commissioner Elisabetta Spitz has sent a request for clarification to the special administrators of the Consorzio Venezia Nuova Giuseppe Fiengo and Francesco Ossola and to Superintendent of Public Works Cinzia Zincone. The deadline announced more than once by Spitz herself during the meetings of the coordination cabinet meetings at the Prefecture – and reiterated Sunday during the test at Chioggia – is June 30.

The MoSE system should be ready by that date, at least for emergencies. Even without the final installations and without the inspection and tests in agitated sea conditions.

However, the discovery of new critical issues with the giant project, such as the accelerated corrosion from the loss of the protective varnish on the entire barrier at Treporti, could put the timetable at risk.

The discovery was made by the submarines that work for the Consorzio, and is now being examined by the commissioners. After seven years under water without any maintenance, the dams behave like any hull being attacked by salt and corrosion. And the troubles accumulate ad problems are identified but not resolved. Parts of some hinges are being attacked by corrosion. There are valves that do not work, to be completely replaced. Some of the instruments have trouble functioning, unlike those installed at Malamocco. And then there are the tensioners, which also need to be fixed. Add to these the tubes and water leakage, mold, and vibrations encountered in the first tests at Malamocco, which have been partially fixed. Other problems at Lido concern the accumulation of sand and sediment in the housing the dam rests in.

In short, endless unresolved problems, which worsen daily due to the lack of maintenance.

Here is where the request sent by Spitz’s office in Rome to the Magistrato alle Acque and the Consorzio comes in. The contract for 37 million for maintenance of the dams is currently blocked at the TAR, with a hearing set for October. The hearing is assigned to Cimolai, but appeals by Croatian company Brodisplit and Fincantieri are pending. Then there are the disputes over who will have to pay for the maintenance work.

Source: La Nuova Venezia

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