Updated: Sliema bridge 'falling apart' - council, TM says bridge is council's responsibility
(Adds TM's statement)
Members of Sliema council this morning called for urgent maintenance work on the bridge which spans Old College Street at the top of Manuel Dimech Street, saying it is in a dangerous state.
Addressing a news conference on site, deputy mayor Cyrus Engerer said that the bridge is the responsibility of Transport Malta, and the only thing the council could do was to put pressure on the Authority.
However, in a statement this evening, TM said that since this bridge is situated in a council road, responsibility for its maintenancefell within the council's remit.
It said that, however, it would be carrying out the required investigations and would make its conclusions available to the council to assist it with the works which would need to be carried out.
Mr Engerer had said during the press conference the council has been telling TM and the relevant ministries of the situation since 2008 when a report had been lodged with the police after pieces of the bridge fell into the street.
However, nothing was done.
At one stage, a report was drawn up by the Resources Ministry and it was found that the bridge was dangerous.
But still, nothing was done by TM.
The council's most recent e-mail, sent 10 days ago after a stone fell from the bridge, was not even acknowledged. Mr Engerer said a man was lucky not to be hit by the falling stone.
This, he said, was unacceptable behaviour by TM.
He pointed out that signs that were meant to prohibit vehicles of over one tonne from being driven over the bridge had been removed.
These should be reinstated and there should be a speed limit, he said.
However, the bridge then needed to be restored for the problem to be fixed once and for all.
The Sliema council was unanimous on this issue, it was noted.