The MOSE project: preventing Venice from sinking



Rolf F. Oberhaus, Managing Director, ThyssenKrupp GfT Bautechnik GmbH


Venice, the world famous city in the sea, is regularly inundated with water. It is a city built on many thousands of oak pilings, but unfortunately, its wooden foundation is unsound and has subsided by a half a metre over the centuries. To make matters worse, the Adriatic Sea’s level is also rising. The Plaza San Marco is often
flooded and the walls of palaces, churches and apartments are saturated with water. The dykes built to protect Venice from floods are too weak.

In order to prevent the city from sinking, massive bulwarks are being used, which should hold the water in check. Meanwhile, preliminary work for three giant gates to the Adriatic Sea has been in progress since 2003. These gates involve modules filled with water that, in the event of flooding, are electromechanically filled with air so that they rise up from the sea bottom to hold back the water. The name of the project is MOSE (Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico) and its purpose is to prevent
Venice from sinking.

Bocca di Malamocco

The MOSE project will cost roughly six billion euros, and it should be finished in 2011 with the help of ThyssenKrupp GfT Bautechnik. The three planned Venetian tidal fortifications, with a length of up to 1,600 metres are architectural masterpieces. ThyssenKrupp has been on location since last year, or more precisely on location at the ‘Bocca di Malamocco’ entrance, where a sluice is being built. The sluice will allow passage to ships while the new floodgates are being installed.

ThyssenKrupp is delivering approx. 42,000 tonnes of material for this sluice, including sheet piles and pipes, and anchors up to 49 metres in length. Some 4,200 tonnes are transported per ship, nloaded in Venice and transported to the construction site via pontoons. “We supported the planning, the processing and the
logistics. A part of the steel sheet piles produced in Dortmund by the HOESCH Spundwand und Profil company directly protect individual structures”, explained the Managing Director, who is responsible for the worldwide distribution of these products.

Interlock sealing system

When ThyssenKrupp presented the sheet pile technology during a symposium in Venice in October 2005, the specialists of the various sheet pile systems were quickly convinced by the HOESCH interlock sealing system. It didn’t stop at lectures and demonstration material: In the course of a field trip to one of the construction sites, ThyssenKrupp demonstrated the driving of a 37 metre long pipe in only 40 minutes; an impressive demonstration that encouraged optimism that Venice won’t sink after all.

Cookie Policy. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.