The Case for Modernization as the Road to Salvation
Sometime around 2014, Italy will complete construction of seventy-eight mobile floodgates aimed at protecting Venice's three inlets from the rising tides of the Adriatic Sea. The massive doors -- twenty meters by thirty meters, and five meters thick -- will, most of the time, lie flat on the sandy seabed between the lagoon and the sea. But when a high tide is predicted, the doors will empty themselves of water and fill with compressed air, rising up on hinges to keep the Adriatic out of the city. Three locks will allow ships to move in and out of the lagoon while the gates are up.