© Archivo Municipal de lisboa
Researchers at the National Laboratory of Civil Engineering (LNEC) have warned the government for several months the extreme urgency and need for structural work on Ponte 25 de Abril. To live in Portugal is also to take the most emblematic bridge that connects the Lisbon and Setubal regions. Indeed, confidential documents have reached the Visão magazine and indicate the severity of the cracks on Portugal's most heavily used bridge. What does the report say about the urgency of works on Ponte 25 de Abril? What are the measures taken to avoid the worst? Bob, the Expatriate Assistant in Lisbon and Portugal tells you everything.
An alarming confidential report on cracks discovered 3 years ago
A confidential document of the LNEC, warning of the extreme gravity of the state of the structure of the bridge, is revealed in the edition of Visão magazine on Thursday. The Ministry of Planning and Infrastructure officially recognized the seriousness of the situation, writes the magazine and the document was sent by this ministry to the Ministry of Finance, which was asked to release the necessary funds to start the work.
The Ministry of Mario Centeno did not respond to the request for funds. The structural defects were detected three years ago but it is only today that the problem becomes public, also reveals Visão The magazine says that Infraestruturas of Portugal has requested an intervention for at least two years, because of serious cracks in the structure analyzed by the technicians. Since then, the situation of the most used bridge in the country has deteriorated until the recent alert from the LNEC.
An emergency budget to repair Ponte 25 de Abril
Visão's requests for clarification, such as whether the allocation of 20 million euros was put on hold by Finanças and when a decision had to be taken, remained unanswered (until the closure of the show Tuesday night) from the Centeno Ministry.
However, Wednesday afternoon, when the magazine began to be distributed to subscribers, before reaching the kiosks Thursday, Infraestruturas de Portugal announced work for the next two years with a budget of 18 million euros.
Portuguese political parties react
In the first official reactions of the party, transmitted by the online edition of Visão, PS deputy André Pinotes Batista attributed the delay in the decision to move the work on the bridge to the "complexity of these processes" which must be articulated between the Ministry of Planning and Infrastructure, Infrastructure of Portugal (IP) and LNEC. "The elected deputy of the constituency of Setúbal indicates that it is impossible to be able to" unblock them overnight "and says that" no politician do not want to have a death in his conscience ".
Regarding the warnings of technicians on the severity of cracks on the bridge connecting the Lisbon and Setubal regions, Andre Batista says that no document would remain "in the drawer" if the safety of the people was concerned. The CDS said it would call "urgently" the Parliament, the Minister of Planning, Pedro Marques, and the National Laboratory of Civil Engineering.
The hypothesis to call also Mario Centeno is not excluded. "Through the retention of funds, the Minister of Finance leads the country to collapse: we must know if in this case this policy is not in question," says the centrist MP Hélder Amaral.
Regarding the coalition partners led by the PS, Heitor de Sousa announced that the BE will request the report and ask the government "why it took so long" to act. The PCP, until the middle of the morning, had not spoken.