The Port of Treviso at Silea
With the return to civilian life after the 1940-45 war, the problem of Treviso's river port was finally tackled and in October 1945 it was founded by the City Council, Province and Chamber of Commerce. The Treviso Port Consortium commissioned engineer Giuseppe Stancari to draw up a project to construct a river port with annexed industrial zone. The project was ready in about two years and included provision for a 3 km link between the new river port at Silea and the Treviso-Motta railway. Work continued until 1950 under the direction of the Civil Engineers. Construction of the port involved a large workforce and in those years of unemployment and poverty provided a livelihood for the local population. Access roads to the port, wharfs and a 300 ton lock were constructed downstream of the "Taglio del Sile" canal. A hydroelectric generating station was also completed and entered into operation in 1954. The great industrial port complex which the newspapers described as "the most grandiose public work in the province" stopped for ever and the managing body, the Treviso Port Authority, survived humbly for a few more years.
The island of Villapendola and the rebellion of the Sile
In April 1954 when the director of works, engineer Ceccotto, gave the order to tip boulders and rocks onto the bottom of the Sile to raise a dam at the point of diversion into the new one kilometre long straight canal which would enable boats to avoid five kilometres of narrow meandering river, the Sile wanted nothing to do with it and broke furiously against the rocks to the point that it terrified onlookers ("…el fasséa paura"). A great many men and machines had dug a large canal, 20 m wide upstream and 34 m wide downstream of the hydroelectric generating station, beginning at the port of Silea and continuing as far as far as the Vòlto dee Lavandère curve near Fiera. The canal allowed larger boats of a greater tonnage such as barges to transit more quickly. It was not easy to defeat the stubbornness of the river which, after rising 80 cm, decided finally to deviate down the new man-made canal, reducing the flow along the original route which became known as the Sile Morto. Digging the canal took four years from October 1950 to April 1954. Constructing the canal created an artificial island which became known as the island of Villapendola.
The Silea hydroelectric generating station owned by Elettroburgo Spa (Cartiere Burgo). It has been in operation since 1954 and exploits a 3.80 m drop. Worked by two Kaplan turbines, it generates 1750 kWh.