Floodgates in Venice Work in First Main Take a look at

ROME – After decades of delays, corruption and rejection from environmental groups, sea walls designed to protect Venice from “acqua alta,” or high water, rose on Saturday, testing their ability to cope with the city’s growing flood.

By 10 a.m., all 78 gates closing the three Venetian entrances had been raised, and even as the waves rose to 15 feet[4 m]the water inside the pool remained stable, officials said.

Alvise Pope, the head of the Venice department who oversees most of the waves.

If the water barriers were not lifted, almost half of all the city’s roads would be submerged, and visitors to St. Mark’s Square – which floods about three feet – would have been walking in the water by half, he said.

“Everything is dry here. Pride is a joy,” sent the words of Luigi Brugnaro, the recently elected mayor of Venice.

Designed forty years ago to help save Venice from flooding, mobile security systems were delayed by high prices, corruption, and opposition from environmental and environmental groups. The cost of the system has tripled since the initial speculation, and the 2014 bribery scandal has forced the then mayor, Giorgio Orsoni, and many others, including politicians and businessmen, to take part in the campaign.

Orson and the other defendants were released.

“We found it difficult and gradually, we were able to fix things,” said Giuseppe Fiengo, one of the project managers since 2014. The important thing is that today, for the first time, with deep water, Venice has not been flooded. ”

Filter gates were tested several times last summer, but less dangerous weather than on Saturday.

“This time we raised them to protect Venice,” said Alberto Scotti, the engineer who designed it.

This method still does not work here. Some of the construction still needs to be completed, and the staff were not well trained, so Saturday’s work was a test.

“But it was a test that had a purpose, to ensure the safety of the city, and it really happened,” Scotti said.

Construction companies are building until December 2021 to complete the project. When working properly, flood gates should be turned on every time the waves reach 3½. Until then, flood gates will be used when the waves reach four feet, as they did on Saturday.

While important, Saturday’s waves were far from the highest water level seen last year – six feet – and last year, which is devastating the city and prompting the mayor to declare an emergency.

The Scotti said flood gates were designed to protect the city “even in rough terrain,” and even waves about 10 feet deep.

While project sponsors received Saturday’s test as a major achievement, some also said flood gates could not solve the growing problems due to climate change. Excessive sea levels and fresh winds can force flood gates to close down, disrupting navigation or turning a lake in Venice into a swamp.

“With climate change, there is a possibility that flood gates can be used 150-180 days a year, becoming a permanent barrier and severing ties with the sea,” said Cristiano Gasparetto, a regional builder and worker who has long opposed it. work.

“If a pond is separated from the ocean for a while, it could die, because the natural exchange of water stops, and all of its life could rot,” he said.

“If the pool dies, Venice dies,” he added. “Lose its shape.”

Gasparetto also expressed doubts that flood gates could operate in areas prone to high tides and strong winds. “There’s a lot of uncertainty,” he said. “Modern tests say nothing about it.”

The challenges remain with the requirements for the maintenance of flood gates and desalination of salt water.

However, the operation of the gates on Saturday was welcomed in Venice as it progressed.

“Today we were confident it was working,” Luca Zaia, Veneto’s regional president, including Venice, told reporters on Saturday. “We know it can help Venice.”

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