Don’t resurface Comino’s dirt road, heritage authorities tell Gozo

The Gozo Ministry warned that the road leading to Blue Lagoon is in such a dilapidated state that large boulders from the edge of the road frequently dislodge and tumble towards the bathers below

Heritage authorities have expressed concerns on plans to resurface the only road leading to the picturesque Blue Lagoon in Comino, warning against the pristine site’s excessive ‘formalisation’.

According to the Gozo Ministry, the road leading to Blue Lagoon is in such a dilapidated state that large boulders from the edge of the road frequently dislodge and tumble towards the bathers below.

A project description statement states that the resurfacing of the road will be done using “eco-friendly” local hardstone blocks as a surface over a concrete sub base.

The proposed design for the 170m-road incorporates a raised stone edge and railing along the extent of the road “so as to prevent both vehicles and people from accidentally falling over the road’s edge”.

But while welcoming the ministry’s decision to abandon plans to extend mooring facilities, the 12-member Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee has said the road to the Blue Lagoon should be “retained and repaired as a dirt track”.

The committee, chaired by Cultural Superintendent Joe Magro Conti, warned that the introduction of “any other surfacing material” would “be alien to the site” and “would rescind a characteristic that distinguishes Comino from Gozo and Malta”.

The committee is also requesting that the proposed railing along the road, meant to improve safety, is replaced by a masonry wall built in the traditional rubble wall technique, “thus not introducing alien materials on the site”.

On its part the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage warned against the “formalisation” of the area through the creation of embankments and retaining walls. “The works as proposed would impact on the scenic context and promote vehicular traffic, with incrementally increasing impact on the landscape,” it warned.

The Environment and Resources Authority has also expressed reservations on the proposed artificial embankment wall on part of the existing natural rock face. ERA is also objecting to the reinforced concrete road sub-base.

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