Milestone Reached: First Caisson Laid for Genoa’s New Breakwater Project

Milestone Reached: First Caisson Laid for Genoa’s New Breakwater Project

(IN BRIEF) Today marks a significant milestone in the construction of the new breakwater off the port of Genoa as the first caisson, out of over 90 planned, was laid at a depth of 25 meters. The event saw the presence of key figures including Italian Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Matteo Salvini and Webuild CEO Pietro Salini. The caisson, measuring 21.7 meters in height and weighing 10 thousand tons, was crafted through a meticulous process involving around 50 workers over 20 days. The project, led by a consortium including Webuild, aims to enhance Genoa’s role in global trade routes by accommodating larger ships of up to 400 meters in length. With over 1.4 million tons of gravel material already positioned and thousands of submerged columns built, the project signifies a major engineering endeavor set to reshape the port’s infrastructure and boost economic prospects for the region.

(PRESS RELEASE) GENOA, 25-May-2024 — /EuropaWire/ — The new breakwater off the port of Genoa is taking shape. In the maritime construction site of the PerGenova Breakwater consortium led by Webuild, at 25 metres’ depth, the first of the over 90 caissons that will compose the first 4 km of the overall 6 km of the work was laid and works continue uninterrupted. Present at the event, the Italian Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Matteo Salvini, with the Italian Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Edoardo Rixi, the Extraordinary Commissioner of the Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority Paolo Piacenza, the acting president of the Liguria Region Alessandro Piana, the Mayor of Genoa and Extraordinary Commissioner for the Breakwater Marco Bucci, and Webuild CEO Pietro Salini.

The first caisson laid was built in the floating construction sites created in the port of Vado Ligure. It measures 21.7 metres in height, 40 metres in length and 25 metres in width, weighing 10 thousand tons. It is not one of the largest, as some of the caissions will reach 67 metres in length, 35 metres in width and 33 in height.

Creating a caisson is a complex procedure that requires on average 20 days and involves approximately 50 people. A temporary metal structure that reproduces the internal structure of the caisson that will be built, is positioned on a floating structure, to proceed with a first jet of concrete. When the concrete has become solid, the formwork is raised a few metres to receive other concrete. And the process is repeated multiple times until the desired height is reached. Once it has been finalised, the caisson is taken to the established point where it will be placed. This is done with tugboats. Then it will be sunk under water by filling it with water and stone material. The caisson is then completed on site, by creating a superstructure and a safeguarding wall.

Concomitantly to the laying of the first caisson and preparing the positioning of the next mega blocks, the Genova Breakwater consortium is also carrying out other works for the project. In fact, over 1.4 million tons of gravel material has already been positioned on the seabed to consolidate the breakwater’s foundations, and over 4,000 submerged columns have already been built. During the forthcoming days, in fact, to build the next submerged columns, the machinery used will be strengthened in number by putting a large barge at work, which will work alongside the pontoon already being used, triplicating the weekly production of the number columns. Works on the protection barrier of the Vado Ligure construction site are also being carried out, with 5 caissons, one next to each other, but smaller compared to the ones that will instead be a part of the main breakwater. The unexploded ordnances searching activities continue in deeper waters, and these will conclude by the end of the Summer. The construction site uses particular cutting-edge solutions that respect the sea ecosystem, like working in a hyperbaric system to carry out the ordnance activities adopted for the very first time in Italy, or the use of inclinometers for the geotechnical monitoring of the seabed positioned up to 40 metres deep.

The New Genoa Breakwater, Europe’s deepest, is a complex engineering work destined to redesign the role played by Genoa within global trade routes. In fact, the work will allow widening the port, ensuring the possibility for larger ships up to 400 metres in length to enter. The project is being built in a consortium led by Webuild (40%), with Fincantieri Infrastructure (25%), Fincosit (25%), and Sidra (10%). It involves as of today, 230 workers, both direct and third-party ones, and it will in total engage approximately 1,000 people and over 130 supply chain companies have been engaged since works started.

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SOURCE: Webuild S.p.A.


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