Commencing construction in 2003, the Mo.S.E – „Modello Sperimentale Elettromeccanico“ (or Experimental Electromechanical Model), is being built along the perimeter of the Venice lagoon. Project planning and design began in 1996, after a fatal flood surprised Venice and its inhabitants. With the help of 78 flood protection gates future floods higher than 110 centimetres above mean sea level will be stopped.
At each of the three lagoon estuaries, concrete foundations are lowered to the sea floor. Even the smallest of the so called “Cassoni” readily weighs about 120.000 tons each. They are pre-cast on land and then floated to the final off-shore position guided via GPS satellite. Once in place they are sunk by flooding the ballast tanks. The actual protection gates are subsequently mounted onto these foundations. All foundation and lock gate assemblies must be level with the sea floor in order to avoid impediments to the very heavy ship traffic in and out of Venice. Further, tidal flows to and from the lagoon should not be constrained by the new structure. At normal sea level, the protection gates are filled with ballast. In the event of an impending flood, the ballast is be pumped out and the flood gates are raised to protect the lagoon. Special locks will insure that ship traffic can continue with the flood gates closed. Mo. S. E. is designed for a 100 year plus service. Therefore, careful consideration was undertaken in selecting high grade construction materials. For instance, the flood gates are made from highly durable stainless steel.
Since 2008, FRANK is supplying to this project. Among other products, Stremaform® formwork elements, extruded fibre-reinforced concrete spacers and distance tubes, coupler system and Stabox® rebar connection system are relied upon. For waterproofing the construction joints, the unique Intec® injection hose system, Cresco® expanding water stops, Fradiflex® metal water stop and array of custom-made stainless steel waterstops solutions have been provided to the job site.
Currently, accumulated project costs are at about 5 billion Euros. Some of the gates have been completed already and they have passed their first test run in October 2013 very successfully. Construction of all 78 gates is scheduled to be completed in 2016.
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