MoSE – corrosion, hinges and the lock: Guardia di Finanza launches an investigation

The Prosecutor of the Corte dei Conti is in charge of the investigation: the charge may be loss of State funds. A notification has been sent to the Commissioner and the Superintendent.

By Alberto Vitucci

8 April, 2021

VENEZIA An investigation into the waste of MoSE’s hinges. The Guardia di Finanza’s Public Spending Enforcement Unit has begun an investigation into the business of the corrosion and the alleged delays in repairing the problems with MoSE. The assignment comes from the Prosecutor of the Corte dei Conti of Veneto, with possible charges of loss of State revenue, against who is unknown. In recent days MoSE Commissioner Elisabetta Spitz and Superintendent of Public Works Cinzia Zincone have received notice of the investigation’s launch.

They must now nominate a technical reference to permit the military to examine and acquire documents on the affair. It’s an issue that has come to the fore in the news recently, after the investigations by La Nuova and the weekly L’Espresso, and the resignations of two expert engineers from the Ministry of Infrastructure in protest over the issue of corrosion.

Delayed and missing interventions, design flaws, and evaluation errors are at the center of the letters sent to the Superintendent by Gian Mario Paolucci and Susanna Ramundo. Several weeks ago it was also the Prosecutor of the Corte dei Conti, Paolo Evangelista, who conducted a preliminary inspection of the yards at the port of Malamocco. At the time he was guided by the former special administrator and technical director of the Consorzio Venezia Nuova – today consultant to Commissioner Spitz – the Torinese engineer Francesco Ossola.

Hinges and instances of advancing corrosion; use of steel that does not meet the guarantee of lasting 100 years made in the design. “They are not made of a Superduplex, but of coated steel”, accuses Ramundo. The risk is that the structures over time can be undermined at the base by rust, as also happened in the case of the Morandi bridge in Genoa.

Hinges, but not only. In the auditing judge’s investigation there will also appear other flawed or delayed interventions from the last few years. Such as the extension at Lido, a dam 800 meters long, which cost 40 million Euros, and collapsed during the first storm a few days after testing. The question of who should answer for the damages is still an ongoing dispute between the company Mantovani, the designer Alberto Scotti of Technital, the Consorzio, and the insurance companies.

The third point is the navigation locks. Here too there are design flaws and underestimations. The lock cost 330 million Euro, and is too small to accommodate cruise ships. During a storm in 2015 the port on the sea side was damaged. Projects and surveys have been underway to repair it for years. Now the Friuli company Cimolai is working there (31 million Euros is the cost of repairs), the same company that competes in bids for the maintenance of the dams at Treporti that it has built (18 million Euro, the other bidder is Fincantieri) and the 34 million bid to remediate the corrosion.

The end of work on MoSE is still far off…

-Source: La Nuova di Venezia e Mestre

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