The bridge across the waterway which passes through Wied Qirda in Zebbug is now taking shape.
The bridge is being built after works carried out by Infrastructure Malta repaired the adjacent road which had previously collapsed, with a limestone foundation now visible along the road.
Once the bridge is completed, the waterway will once again be opened. The bridge replaces a concrete dam which was illegally constructed dam.
The concrete dam, constructed to provide access to two residences on the right-hand-side bank of the valley, was built in the mid-2000s. In 2007 it was the subject of an enforcement order which has since been withdrawn, despite the fact that the blockage persists to this very day.
Infrastructure Malta’s intervention has been a source of controversy for a number of months, with things reaching a head when the Environment & Resources Authority issued a stop and compliance order against the works.
Concern had been raised that the works being done were going to permanently effect and alter the environmental characteristics of the valley. The road widening and resurfacing project saw the removal of a number of trees and shrubs to widen the country lane while a truck carrying asphalt had overturned when part of the road collapsed, sending its load flying onto a carob tree below.
IM CEO Frederick Azzopardi had explained to The Malta Independent in an interview however that the interventions that his entity had done were to prevent the danger posed by the road’s susceptibility to collapse.
“If the dam is not removed, then the damage will keep recurring – in fact this was brought up in Parliament by Godfrey Farrugia, and we confirmed that we would indeed be removing it and replacing it with a bridge so that the water can continue to flow”, Azzopardi had told this newsroom.
The Malta Independent had reported that a bridge may take the place of the illegal dam at the beginning of last November.