Nicosia municipality on Wednesday sought to dismiss reports suggesting the long-awaited Eleftheria Square was headed for new delays but did concede that technical issues were slowing construction.
Responding to a report citing the architect by daily Phileleftheros that the square would not be ready before 2019, project co-ordinator Agni Petridou said work was progressing with more than 120 people working on the site every day.
The project, which was originally supposed to be completed in 2013, has been beset by endless technical and contractual problems and is now years overdue.
According to Phileleftheros, technical difficulties in the construction of certain aspects of the project, designed by the late Zaha Hadid, were the reason for the latest delays.
Petridou said a tour of all parties involved in took place on Tuesday and the progress was reviewed.
“Views were exchanged and both the employer, the Nicosia municipality that is, and the architect, agreed on a series of strict organisational measures they intend to put in place to ensure there won’t be a delay in completing the project,” Petridou said in a written statement.
The co-ordinator said that in January, access will be given to the public to the square’s bridge and Costakis Pantelides Street, a road that runs along the square, will be reopened to traffic.
However, public will only be given access to part of the bridge because sample work on the west parapet did not meet technical specs “and we are now going ahead with recruitment of a specialist from abroad for its construction”.
According to Phileleftheros, the problem concerned the glass on the western parapet that is meant to be slanted.
For the same reason, Petridou said, construction of the marble sculptures that will be placed in the water features will also be manufactured abroad.
In March the municipality said the bridge would be open to the public in June, this was later put back to January 2018. The whole project was expected to be ready six months later.
The repeated delays have cast a shadow over mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis who has been heavily criticised by Nicosia residents on social media.