Parts of the work being done on the Central Link Project have been halted after “low historical value” archaeological remains were uncovered.
The discovery comes as the massive €55 million project, which is set to change travel between Mrieħel and Ta’ Qali, is underway. However, works have been halted as archaeologists now prepare to clean the rock-cut trenches by hand and investigate further, according to the Times of Malta.
The temporary suspension of works is aimed at one particular stretch of land where the trenches were found. Experts will now have to give instructions on how to proceed from here, whether it be continuing with excavation works or otherwise.
Environmentalists have been critical of the project, with some people posting images of other “cart ruts” that were allegedly destroyed during excavation works.
A spokesperson from Transport Malta was quoted by Times of Malta as denouncing allegations of historical features being destroyed during works as false.
“This is the second time that false allegations about archaeological findings during the Central Link project works have been made. A few days ago, a similar allegation that historic rock-cut features were being destroyed also turned out to be untrue,” the spokesman said.
He explained that once the topsoil layers were removed, archaeological experts would inspect the rocks to see if there’s anything of historical value. After they give their go ahead, works would commence again.
“If they are found to warrant protection and preservation, the Superintendence will liaise with Infrastructure Malta to identify the required project plan modifications,” the spokesman said.