The Malta Independent 16 May 2022, Monday

Transport Minister Joe Mizzi says stronger deterrents are needed to prevent road work delays

Kevin Schembri Orland Monday, 6 February 2017, 12:01 Last update: about 6 years ago

Transport Minister Joe Mizzi has said that stronger deterrents are needed to ensure companies do not miss their road work tender deadlines, indicating that fines are not enough.

The minister said that he found such situations when first taking office, where contractors would just receive fines for delayed projects, but "this would not solve the situation of the works not being completed on time. It used to be the order of the day," he said, adding that while the situation has improved, a change in mentality is needed.

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He said that he has experienced situations where the completion time listed in the tender is passed, and people end up complaining when it comes to roadworks, with the contractor just having to pay a fine. "A remedy must be found, and the work must complete," he said. "If needs be, we should be able to grab someone else in such situations to continue the work."

He explained that this also costs the country, and contributes to congestion.

He was unable to give any concrete examples of what the deterrents could be, however said that experts should ensure that a strong deterrent be introduced to ensure good timely work.

The minister was addressing a press conference on the Triton Fountain project, however asked by this newsroom said that he was not referring to this project when he brought up the issues mentioned above.

As part of the works being done around the fountain, 13 kiosks were removed thus far, generating around 190 tonnes of construction waste, he explained. The material was separated on site, and he said that the works were done at night due to the influx of people during the day.

Restoration on the two bridges are now complete. The work in front of the Education Ministry has also concluded, and a new roundabout was constructed, he said.

The minister also explained that a new waiting zone which will take around 12 busses is being made on Nelson road, in order to make up for the loss of waiting area around the fountain, which will be pedestrianised. Information kiosks will also be installed there, and new trees planted.

As for the Triton Fountain itself, over the past months government was involved in negotiations which resulted in a signed agreement between government and the joint venture Sea Fountain One. The bronze statues were removed, and the next step, he said, is for an agreement to be signed with an Italian company to send a trailer to Malta to transport them to Italy so that restoration work can occur.

He spoke about the new Valletta Servicing Directorate, and said that they have conducted cleansing work at night, and also replaced a number of lights around the capital city at night. Work is also underway to issue tenders to arrange a number of pavements around the city. 

Photos by Jonathan Borg

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