Work is under way to repair the deteriorating Marsa-Ħamrun flyover in a €200,000 project which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

A spokesman for Infrastructure Malta told the Times of Malta that the work included the removal of loose concrete and the application of a protective treatment to the pillars’ rebar.

This reinforcing steel would then be covered with a specialised repair product identified for the purpose through the studies carried out over the last few months.

The bridge was built in the 1970s.

At the same time, Infrastructure Malta is extracting core concrete samples from different parts of the flyover’s structure to conduct additional laboratory studies that will determine the future investments required to upgrade this major node of the Maltese road network. 

Concerns about the state of the bridge gained momentum following the tragedy in Genoa when the Morandi Bridge during a heavy downpour, killing 43 people.

The pillars had not been compromised

Italian prosecutors focused their investigation on possible design flaws or inadequate maintenance of the 1967 bridge. 

Following the concerns raised, Infrastructure Malta said that the Marsa-Ħamrun flyover was “structurally safe”.

A spokesman said that according to tests carried out on the crumbling concrete, the pillars had not been compromised.

Watch: Marsa-Ħamrun flyover debris worries safety expert

Read: Experts differ over state of Qormi bridge

He said that the first phase on the project got underway last November when maintenance work started with the removal of parts of the outer layer of concrete of some of the flyover’s pillars.

In other areas, cracked pieces of this outer layer were removed to be refilled with the appropriate reinforcing repair product.  

In April, the Transport Ministry had announced that several studies were under way to ascertain the safety and stability of structures forming part of the country’s road network.

This ongoing process included the Mistra Bridge, between Xem-xija and Mellieħa, and the Qormi-Marsa flyover of the Marsa-Ħamrun Bypass. 

“Infrastructure Malta is committed to continue and improve the ongoing processes to monitor and assess the condition of the country’s road network previously implemented by Transport Malta, and to implement the necessary repairs, maintenance and upgrades to ensure that this infrastructure can safely meet the requirements of all road users,” the spokesman said yesterday.

He said this summer work had been completed to consolidate the stability of the Mistra Bridge.

The bridge, which dates back 130 years, had sections of its buttressing walls rebuilt, after they were found to be in danger of collapsing.

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