First test of Venice's $9.1 billion flood barriers
VENICE (AFP) - Flood-prone Venice on Saturday carried out the first test of its 5.4 billion euro (S$9.1 billion) barrier system known as "Moses", designed to protect the Renaissance city from rising sea levels.
The ambitious engineering project involves installing 78 mobile barriers divided into four sections at the three inlets to the Venice lagoon, with the largest inlet divided in half by an artificial island.
Fifty companies have been involved in the massive project overseen by the Venezia Nuova consortium, which has been dogged by delays, environmental concerns and scandal.
On Saturday, dozens of officials including Italian Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi were on hand for the first test of the system.