The first, 2.5-mile-long phase of one of the world's largest breakwaters is to be built at Genoa, Italy, under a $900-million contract just signed with a local consortium. About 100 prefabricated concrete caissons as tall a 108 ft will be seated on a rock foundation placed in water up to 164 ft deep, according to the contractor.
Milan-based Webuild S.p.A. leads the consortium of Fincantieri Infrastructure Opere Marittime, Fincosit and Sidra charged with building the breakwater by the Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority. A second phase, yet to be funded, will raise the breakwater’s length to 3.9 miles, allowing vessels twice the current size to access the port.
At 164 ft, the Genoa breakwater will be one of the world's largest, according to Webuild. But it will be 43 ft shallower than the structure at Japan's Kamaishi Port.
Completed to counter tsunamis after many years of construction in 2009, the Kamaishi Port breakwater was partially destroyed by waves generated by the Tohoku earthquake in 2011. Since being rebuilt, the breakwater now incorporates recently started wave energy trials by locally based Marine Energy Co. Ltd.