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Ferries €1m project didn’t solve sea flooding

Transport Malta has spent more than €950,000 to upgrade the promenade and roads at the Sliema Ferries Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Transport Malta has spent more than €950,000 to upgrade the promenade and roads at the Sliema Ferries Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

A €1 million project at the Sliema Ferries did not solve, or even attempt to solve, the seawater flooding problem there, Transport Malta has admitted.

It said solving the seawater flooding problems at the Ferries whenever the level of seawater changes did not “fall within the remit of this project” but was included in the planned underground car park project.

Transport Malta has so far spent in excess of €950,000 to upgrade the promenade and the state of the roads at the Sliema Ferries.

The project complements other upgrading work done in recent months, including the paving project on the other side of the Ferries.

In replies to questions from The Sunday Times, a spokesman for Transport Malta said the problem of seawater flooding was being studied regularly with its tide gauges that monitor the variation in water levels.

This monitoring exercise revealed that variations of more than one metre were not a regular occurrence and that water height variations became more significant in the past two years.

He explained that when the present Ferries waterfront was reclaimed in the 1980s, the paved areas were designed to slope seaward so that storm water flows directly to the sea. However, this exposed the Ferries road surface to infrequent flows from the sea.

The spokesman said the seawater flooding problems had to be solved through “attenuation measures” from the waterside edge.

“Such interventions lay outside the remit of the present road upgrade project works,” the spokesman said.

Asked why it was not included in this project, the Transport Malta spokesman said this problem will be tackled when the next planned project for the Sliema Ferries – the underground car park – gets under way.

“The plans, as approved by the planning authority, include large, partially submerged culverts that link to the sea. These culverts have retention control capability that assists during water flooding.

“The system will be particularly effective when high tides coincide with heavy rainfall,” he said.

Moreover, concrete cross-walls within the culverts themselves will help to stabilise the water levels at the interface of the waters’ edge with the proposed Ferries water culvert system itself.

The spokesman said this plan shows the authority was giving due importance to the flooding problems at the Ferries although this was not a common occurrence.

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