The mobile dam system in Venice is delayed by four years, but claimed as being six months late.

After an agreement on Wednesday 29 March 2017, an article in the newspaper Corriere Del Veneto claimed on 30 March 2017 that the delivery of Venice’s MOSE mobile dam system had slipped by six months. Yet the very same newspaper published an article on 28 April 2015 in which it was stated that the same project would be completed in 2018. I commented on this article on that day here;


So why has the dam project been delayed yet again? This is explained in the Corriere Del Veneto article published on 30 March 2017, which can be read using the following link;

Il Mose sarà al «lavoro» dal 2019

The principal reason identified is delays with funding of the work from central government. However, the article also reveals that the project will require a considerable testing period before it can be considered fully functional. Indeed, the article argues that the work on the project is forecast to be completed by the end of December 2018 and ‘working by 2019’. This explains the claim of a six-month delay compared with the previous forecast for completion in June 2018.

Although this is when the completion of the building work is now predicted, the functioning of the system is forecast by 30 June 2020, adding that the final delivery of the system will be completed by 31 December 2021. According to this scenario, the dam system will not be fully operational until 2022. This is five years from now and four years after the previous completion date was published.

Even though these further delays of the dam project are very disappointing for Venetians who need protection from the highest floods experienced in the city and throughout the lagoon, this final phase of the project should still be completed.

Of course, additional delays to the project are likely to mean further costs to the final price, which was previously estimated at €6.5 billion. While the final cost is still uncertain, the latest article does note some savings that have been made by adjusting aspects of the work. For example, a second jack-up costing €50 million has been cancelled. For more detailed information on the development of the dam project and wider debates about the environmental protection of Venice, see my book Venice in Environmental Peril? Myth and Reality (2012) which can be purchased by clicking on the link below;

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