Unique in the world, the MO.S.E Project involves implementing wide area environmental engineering measures throughout the Venice Lagoon, together with maritime and electromechanical engineering works at the lagoon inlets with the aim of protecting Venice city centre and built-up areas on the islands from periodic exceptional high tides.The most characteristic feature of the system is represented by the four mobile barriers in the three lagoon inlets (two at Lido, one at Malamocco and one at Chioggia). The design and implementation of this complex project consisting of a modular series of a total of 35 underwater concrete gate housing structures requires multidisciplinary engineering know-how and methods (civil, maritime, electromechanical, IT, environmental). The 78 independent steel gates hinged side-by-side to these housing structures emerge from the seabed during high tide events to form a barrier able to regulate, or even avoid, the rise in water level in the Venice lagoon.The gates are normally full of water and lie flush with the natural seabed in the inlets. The mobile barriers are raised to emerge above the water by introducing compressed air into the gates, at the same time expelling the water through specific openings. At the end of the high tide event, the air is vented from inside the gates and the seawater is allowed to flow back in.
Absolute protagonist and largest shareholder in the consortium of major Italian companies responsible for implementing the project, Mantovani first constructed and laid the concrete housing structures, then installed the mobile gates. In particular, Mantovani constructed all the infrastructure at Lido Treporti and is currently carrying out the majority of the work at the Malamocco inlet.