The City Gate project moved up a notch today with the start of demolition of the arcades around Freedom Square, Valletta.

The work started this morning in the area below St James Cavalier.

Workers were seen spraying water in an effort to prevent dust clouds, although one cafe' owner did complain about the excessive dust. The work was then stopped while workers erected more hoarding boards.

The Prime Minister is due to visit the site tomorrow.

The shops were evicted earlier this year, enabling engineers to better investigate the site ahead of the project, which will see a Parliament House built instead of the Square.

Most of the debris will be disposed of through a chute down to the ditch below in an effort to limit inconvenience to passersby.

The debris will then be loaded onto large trucks parked in the ditch, known as the Yellow Garage area, and transported away from the site.

Over the weekend workers demolished an addition to the railway bridge linking the tunnel beneath City Gate. However the original bridge will be retained and restored.

The government has pledged to deliver the City Gate project, which will by 2013.