Charbel: Decision Taken to Remove Jal el-Dib Bridge ASAPإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The decision has been taken to remove the Jal el-Dib bridge “as soon as possible” in order to avoid a possible “disaster,” Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said Tuesday, after the collapse of a building in Ashrafiyeh that left 27 people dead stirred fears of the possibility of similar disasters.
Numerous complaints have been made about the weary metal bridge on the Jal el-Dib highway, north of Beirut. But Charbel reassured that “there is no need to panic,” saying the relevant authorities had taken the “necessary precautions.”
Charbel’s announcement comes after Public Works Minister Ghazi Aridi recommended that the bridge be removed over safety fears.
“We have conducted the necessary contacts with the Council for Development and Reconstruction and Aridi, who had asked us to prevent the passage of trucks, alleviate the pressure on the bridge and prevent any overload,” Charbel said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Aridi stressed to Voice of Lebanon radio station that the bridge “should be removed.”
“I have sent experts to inspect the bridge and referred a report to the Council for Development and Reconstruction which is entitled to deal with the issue,” he told VDL (93.3).
Aridi neither confirmed nor denied the reports about “cracks in the foundations of the bridge” but said he will follow up the issue with Charbel.
Jal el-Dib municipal chief Edward Abou Jaoude said the reports were only rumors.
The municipality hasn’t asked drivers to avoid using the bridge, he stressed.