The extent of the WWII bomb damage on Tumas Dingli Bridge can be seen by the concrete patchwork pictured
Scaffolding is currently being set up to support Tumas Dingli Bridge, the City Gate pedestrian bridge, before reconstruction and restoration works begin to recreate the original structure.
Architect Karl Farrugia explained that the scaffolding will support the bridge which will be reduced from 20 metres wide to seven metres.
“The original 16th Century bridge was six metres wide. We need to repair the damage caused by bombs dropped during World War II and will be going back to the old historical structure,” Farrugia explained.
The cracks in the foundations of the bridge will be monitored all throughout the restructuring process which will see a number of bricks removed on either side to expose the structure of the original bridge.
CEO of the Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation Chris Paris said the extent of the bomb damage was determined following excavation.
Jean Marc Smits, the Project’s Manager from France, said that besides rebuilding the bridge, workers had two fundamental issues to keep in mind as works progress.
“The first is the safety of the public which is why scaffolding will structurally support the bridge all throughout. The second is keeping pedestrian traffic uninterrupted all throughout,” Smits said.
The bridge is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2013 and despite the extent of the bomb damage discovered, all will remain within budget.
The works will be conducted in stages and pedestrians will be permitted to walk along half of the bridge until the other half of the bridge fixed.
“Stones will be removed one-by-one and numbered. We will start repairing the bomb damage in a couple of weeks which will be extensive considering the 17 metre-height of this structure,” Paris explained.