Government to cover €750,000 for Paola Square defects

Government roads agency Infrastructure Malta will pay €750,000 to reconstruct parts of the €3 million Paola Square project after massive defects emerged despite the project’s relatively recent completion in 2018.

Answering questions raised by Nationalist Party MP Bernice Bonello on Tuesday, newly appointed Infrastructure Minister Chris Bonnet said €750,000 had been allocated for the project this year, characterising it as “improvement and embellishment” work.

Bonnet announced earlier this month that works to redo the main square of his constituency were about to start. However, Infrastructure Malta refused to provide information on how much it would cost or possible repercussions for those who did the initial work.

The original project had rebuilt the square’s roadways with cobbled porfido stone, now covered in asphalt.

Commenting on Facebook, the original project’s architect, Chris Mintoff, decried the interventions.

He said the pedestrian-friendly “dream” for the square had been “crushed” and refuted claims of shoddy work.

Mintoff said the project had been designed to prioritise pedestrians and that cobbles had been used as heavy and industrial traffic was meant to be banned from the square, adding, “However well you design it, you cannot protect it from its users.”

He blamed the damages heavy use stemming from the road being used as a diversion for equipment during the construction of the Marsa Junction project, noting that side streets not used by such vehicles were undamaged.

The architect added, “The authorities and caretakers of the locality were very aware of this and warned,” concluding that through the asphalting “, the space is divided once again.”

Mintoff’s design was implemented by contractors Barbros Group and Schembri JV at the cost of over €2.3 million, and his company, Building and Design Consultants, was paid to oversee the project’s implementation as project managers.

Bonnet’s parliamentary response did not detail whether contractors would be held responsible for wrongdoing.

Defects reportedly included the wrong laying of porfido, rusty benches, unconnected lighting, unlit zebra crossings and empty wells underneath the square that were supposed to supply water to fountains.


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2 months ago

It’s time they went back to Roman publications and discover how exactly to build roads, that last several lifetimes. Oh I forgot of course the Habib’s cut. Silly me.

Karmenu Psaila
Karmenu Psaila
1 month ago

What did the contract say ? One has to read the contract for that tender and check if it was written in black and white for how long was work guaranteed . And how the work should gave been done . Then we will know who is to blame and pay.

Simon Camilleri
Simon Camilleri
1 month ago

Well it’s not really the government is it. The correct headline should be ‘Tax payers (non-gahans) to cover 750,000 ‘expenses’ of shoddy work done unnecessarily by PL friends’. Quite a mouthful but this whole thing was always a huge pig/trough exercise anyway.

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