Mose, the mobile barriers for Venice to defend the city from floods

Feb 26, 2016 | Venetian life

A great innovative activity: let us go and see the Centre providing the control of this system. The barriers are not yet over. The 80% of this complicated project invisible to our eyes on a normal day has been completed. When a flood has been predicted the barrier should enable the separation of the lagoon from the Adriatic Sea. There are rows of gates installed in the inlet channels inside caissons made of concrete. With normal weather conditions, the gates rest on the bed of the inlets and the exchange between sea and lagoon is not modified. In case of danger they need to be filled with compressed air in order to rise up out to the sea and block the tide entering the lagoon. Then you need to fill the gates with water to let them rest in their bed.

The barriers have a total length of 1.56 km and they are made of steel. There are four barriers : North Lido (21), South Lido (20), Malamocco (19), Chioggia (18). Their thickness varies from 3.5 m (at Lido) to 5 m (row at Chioggia). Lengths vary from 18.5 m to 29.2 m; the width is 20 m for all barriers. The average inlet closure time will be 4 or 5 hours (including gate opening and closure times, 30 and 15 minutes respectively). The highest tide recorded happened nearly 50 years ago and reached 1.94 m and the gates should protect the city from a tide higher than 3 m.

At the Malamocco inlet a large lock has been constructed to allow the entrance of merchant ships. At the Lido and Chioggia inlets locks for fishing boats, emergency vessels and pleasure crafts. The system will be effective even in case of a significant rise sea level of at least 60 cm.

Other measures safeguard the shore.

The Arsenal is the brain of the Mose, and particularly the Northern part of it.

So that is where we are going together to learn more about this project.