In response to a series of questions about the situation of the former Maria Pia railway bridge, its maintenance and its future projects, IP reported its involvement in the Alfândega branch recovery project that the municipality has designed led by Rui Moreira.
"Regarding future projects, it is reported that a sub-concession contract is in force with Porto City Council for the adaptation and use of the Alfândega branch platform, between kilometres 0.491 and 3.359, for the purpose of soft mobility, tourism and/or leisure, with the joint analysis by IP and the municipalities of Gaia and Porto on the future use of the Maria Pia bridge as a pedestrian and cycle path," the response reads.
About a year ago, Porto City Hall presented two solutions for the reactivation of the Alfândega branch line, with the mayor, Rui Moreira, opened to a definitive solution that brings together public transport and leisure, through the definition of usage schedules.
These projects foresee, in one case, electric transport from Alfândega do Porto to Campanhã, through the branch line that was decommissioned in 1989, as well as the use of the bridge as a cycling path, inserted in a leisure area that will include the creation of an urban park overlooking the Douro River.
On 28 April, the local authority said it was simply waiting for approval from the Court of Auditors, which had requested clarification of the contract, to move ahead with the contract works to stabilise the slope adjacent to the "Ramal da Alfândega".
Regarding the old railway bridge, IP assured "that it closely monitors the conservation status of the Dona Maria Pia Bridge" and that, although it has not been used for more than 30 years, (...) it has been the target of main inspections and a set of maintenance interventions, in order to ensure the integrity of the main elements that constitute the bridge, and, consequently, a major intervention in Maria Pia Bridge is not expected in the short term".