The Imriehel bypass footbridge project has still not been completed, and is awaiting the installation of lifts. Transport Malta has told the News Centre that it is taking every action permissible in the contract for the company to install these lifts in order to make the bridge acessible to everyone.
The footbridge over the Imriehel bypass has been built without Government incurring any expenditure from public funds. Transport Malta resorted to an innovative method through which the company chosen through a competitive process had to plan, build, operate and carry out maintenance on the bridge for a 20-year period.On the other hand the contract provides for any revenue from advertising on the bridge to go directly to the company, to make good for its investment.
The bridge started being installed in April. An on-site visit showed that the bridge can be used for crossing the bypass, as long as the stairs are used on both sides. At the present time, however, physically disabled persons, those with mobility problems or persons with pushchairs cannot use the footbridge.
In reply to an inquiry by PBS, a Transport Malta spokesman pointed out that whlst the company had built the bridge as per specifications, it was reneging on contract obligations regarding installation of a lift on each side.
Asked when it was hoped that the project would be fully functional, and whether the company is being made to pay a penalty because of the delays, the spokesman replied that TM is taking every action permissible through the terms of the contract to convince the company to install the lifts, thus allowing the bridge to be used by everyone as originally planned.
The Imriehel bypass footbridge had been commissioned by Transport Malta, and has been constructed to offer a higher degree of safety to a number of families living in the “Tal-Blat 2” zone when they need to cross the bypass on their way to the centre of Qormi. Two girls had been killed twelve years ago when they had been knocked down by a vehicle when they were crossing this road, which is used by thousands of vehicles.