FEATURE | New study to cover accessibility in Venice’s Malamocco Marghera Canal


A new study addressing nautical accessibility in the Italian ports of Venice and Chioggia has been launched. The study seeks to analyse and implement highly innovative solutions in compliance with physical constraints and the hydrodynamic equilibrium of the Venetian lagoon while also considering the local maritime traffic and the MoSE mobile dam system as well as the greater goal of transport decarbonisation.

The initiative was promoted by the North Adriatic Sea Port Authority – Ports of Venice and Chioggia and is part of “Channeling: the Green deal for Venice” project, which also includes an analysis based on a highly innovative scientific approach. For the first time, hydrodynamic and navigation simulation models will be integrated with data collected in the field in real time, allowing for the evaluation of the hydrodynamic impact on the Malamocco-Marghera channel and on the neighbouring strips in relation to maritime traffic.

Through the monitoring activity, operational and planning solutions will then be identified and subsequently applied along the canal and in the surrounding areas in order to safeguard the lagoon environment and ensure the balance between maritime traffic and environmental sustainability.

The channeling project is worth a total of €1.7 million (US$1.91 million), 50 per cent of which co-financed by the European Union through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Program.

An EU multi-agency effort

The study was committed through an international call for tenders, assigned to a pool of Italian and foreign companies led by DHI (formerly the Danish Hydraulic Institute), in line with the very high quality standards required by the tender. DHI is an international organisation that has been operating for more than 50 years exclusively in the maritime sector, with particular expertise in hydraulic modelling and in hydrodynamic and solid transport processes.

Other partners include Denmark-based navigation and manoeuvring studies specialist FORCE Technology, Italian engineering company HS Marine, the Fincantieri Group’s research and simulation centre Cetena, and a business of Andrea Zamariolo, a geologist and expert in sedimentology and morpho-dynamics of wetlands and lagoons.

“The action we are undertaking will be developed in our Operational Plan 2022-2024, which will include environmental sustainability as the overriding principle for all our development policies,” said Fulvio Lino Di Blasio, President of the North Adriatic Sea Port Authority and Special Commissioner for cruises in Venice. “In this framework our duty to guarantee the accessibility to the ports of Venice and Chioggia is carried out in full respect both of the lagoon environment and the hydrodynamic balance. Through this study, the North Adriatic Sea Port Authority had in fact already anticipated issues that later would have been converged on the agenda of the Special Commissioner for cruises in Venice, whose mission also consists of activities related to the issue of accessibility to the infrastructures of the port system.”

Venice as a sustainability hub

The study on the Malamocco Marghera, which the parties expect will be ready within 12 months, will facilitate the relaunch of Venice and the entire port system as a hub for sustainability within the European economic system, as mentioned by Julian Espina, Project Manager of the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) in Brussels.

“This project reflects the essence of the European Green Deal in terms of protecting the environment and providing an efficient, safe and environmentally friendly transport system,” said Mr Espina. “Moreover, it will have a relevant impact on two of the main corridors of the TENT-T core network, namely the Mediterranean Corridor and the Baltic-Adriatic corridor. The study will be used as a key decision-making tool for public authorities and stakeholders and will propose an innovative long-term solution focusing on the delicate environment condition of the lagoon.”

The next operational step will be the establishment of the advisory board, which will be made up of five experts with recognised expertise in the areas of hydrodynamic, morphological, and safety of navigation studies. The board will perform consultative and oversight duties on the activity and its results.

See all the other news, reviews and features of this month’s Marine Projects Week right here.

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