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The Rolls Royce of caissons in Venice

Not many worksites can claim Rolls-Royce standards but it is literally true for the Venice flood barrier where construction is well underway for the giant seabed caissons which will house the scheme’s steel floating gates.

The enormous concrete structures, weighing up to 24,000t for the largest central channel are being built on dry land and must be moved to the water when complete before they are floated into position for final immersion.

A massive shiplift has just been commissioned for the purpose, the largest ever produced by the Syncrolift company within Rolls-Royce’s marine division.

The lift is much wider than a normal ship lift, with the platform 56m across. Two rows of 24 winches of 500t capacity each are linked by massive steel beams 7m deep, to handle much higher than usual deflections.

Client the Consorzio Venezia Nuova aims to complete the £4bn barrier for the historic canal city in 2014.

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