Venice’s MOSE dams delayed with added costs of €150 million

MOSE dams

This week revealing reports have explained that work on the MOSE dam project has been on hold for the last eight months at an estimated cost of €150 million. Promised tranches of funds to continue the project from the CIPE committee charged with releasing them have not been forthcoming. It is estimated it takes approximately five months between the official decision to release funds and their arrival. Moreover, Romeo Chiarotto, the owner of Mantovani (one of the companies working on the project) was quoted as saying that these delays could mean the dams will not completed until 2018 or even 2020. This was reported in the article in the link below on 28th April 2015:

The same article noted that 124 employees of Mantovani had been off work and at home since February and have been paid through the government ‘CIG’ system. In an article in Il Gazzettino by Maurizio Dianese, published on 27th April 2015, it was claimed that 300 MOSE workers have been supported through this CIG system because they were not currently working on the project. Indeed, this article estimated that up until now the dam project has cost €6.5 billion.

Effectively, work on the dam project has been blocked since the wide-ranging arrests in June 2014 due to the misuse of funds by numerous politicians, managers and state officials linked to the project. This was discussed in this previous blog post:


Although the project is now mired in corruption and scandal, its final phase should still be completed. To stop the project now would be a huge waste of resources, jeopardise thousands of jobs for people working on the dams and related projects and mean Venice’s capacity for protection against flooding would be significantly diminished. The Italian government needs to ensure that the dam project is completed but without the embezzlement of more funds.

The debates about the project and how it is likely to impact Venice are explained in detail in my book, which is based on interviews conducted with local environmentalists and extensive research: Venice in Environmental Peril? Myth and Reality (2012). This book can be purchased by clicking on the link below:

For anyone who would like to observe further details about the project, the New Venice Consortium (in charge of constructing the dams) produced a film showing the North Lido inlet and the launch of the caissons, which are the structures that will host the MOSE mobile gates. This film can be viewed using the link below:

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