The Malta Independent 19 November 2018, Monday

History Repeats itself: aqueduct damaged in mysterious accident

Malta Independent Sunday, 26 August 2007, 00:00 Last update: about 6 years ago

Unknown persons slammed a large vehicle into the upper part of the aqueduct at Xemxija. This historic structure had to be dismantled later due to severe damage.

The aqueduct, deemed to be over 100 years old, is on the road from Xemxija to Golden Bay, a stone’s throw away from the newly re-built St Paul’s Bay bypass.

One of the aqueduct’s arches, over one storey high, was almost knocked down when a vehicle hit its uppermost part. The accident took place on the same days that private contractors were carrying out the final work on the roundabout at the end of the bypass.

Sources told maltastar.com that the damage could only have been caused by a large vehicle, such as a concrete mixer: “The cracks on the arch clearly indicate that the structure was at its uppermost part. And there are not many vehicles that can reach so high up.”

Yet, no one assumed responsibility for this accident. A resident filed a report to the police, but apparently they decided there was not enough damage to warrant further investigations. Thus, no attempt was made to identify the culprits.

In truth, the damage was so extensive, that when government workers arrived on site last week, they found that the only way to repair the aqueduct was to pull down two of the arches. In fact, after the aqueduct was secured by scaffolding, the two arches were dismantled on Monday morning.

The dismantled aqueduct is to be rebuilt in the coming weeks.

This mysterious accident closely resembles the other mysterious accident that robbed Fleur-de-Lys of its more historic arch connecting the aqueduct on the Rabat road to that in Sta Venera High Street.

That happened during the war at night during a blackout and an army lorry was blamed.

The arch was never rebuilt: its stones were said to have been stored away but were later found to have gone missing. And when Bank of Valletta was building its head office nearby, it paid around Lm30,000 as a planning gain to rebuild the arch but it seems there were objections from the police because of dangers to driving visibility (the same dangers exist at Portes des Bombes) and nothing was done.

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