On Tuesday morning, a major traffic jam that disturbed practically all of the south of Malta was found to be caused by lax work by a contractor at the Santa Venera tunnels, as a spokesman for Infrastructure Malta revealed.
The spokesman explained that the contractor had cleared a water culvert in preparation for resurfacing works, and then covered it up with a steel plate. It was the plate that shifted with morning traffic, and one of the tunnel’s lanes was shut off.
As a result, a traffic jam quickly spread to Marsa and then on to Tal-Barranni road, with motorists sharing that they were stuck for over an hour. One motorist in Qormi even revealed that he was stuck in the narrow streets for 45 minutes as traffic was diverted from main roads.
The spokesman remarked that the agency had taken quick action to reopen both tunnel lanes, but it took some time for the traffic flow to be restored. He added that the incident was even more unfortunate, as the agency had ensured to work during the night to minimize inconvenience.
Steps towards legal action have been launched, in terms of the contract, and Transport Malta has fined the contractor.