“If the results of the measurements carried out by the specialists on the bridge in Serbia are good, it is considered certain that next week the bridge will be put into traffic for passenger cars and small trucks up to a maximum of three tons,” he said during a press conference the Regional Governor of Western Macedonia Giorgos Kasapidis.

Mr. Kasapidis explained that there will be one-way traffic and only in one stream with its regulation being done by the operation of the traffic lights. He assured that “in the future the bridge is not going to be closed at least for cars, but only for a short time”, when the process of tensioning the four steel tendons that will be placed on the 6th cantilever of the bridge is underway.

Mr. Kasapidis, answering a question about whether there is a possibility that due to the extent of the damage to the 4th, 5th and 6th cantilever, the traffic of heavy vehicles cannot be restored to its previous state, he emphasized that “this possibility has not been ruled out and that this will clarify after the charges that will be made in the next two days at the specific points”.

Technicians test the strength of the bridge’s restored cantilevers by loading weights starting at 30 and reaching up to 140 tons.

“If the tendons of the bridge show the required elasticity after loading, it means that we are on the right track” said the Regional Governor. For the restoration of the 6th cantilever, specialized aerial work is planned to approach the highest points of the piers and cantilevers of the bridge, in order to carry out the restoration work and the installation of the steel frames that will shield the bridge. He added that “the expenses for the restoration work of the bridge exceeded the initial forecast and today they reach 300,000 euros”.

Regarding the issue of compensation for the professional groups in the Municipalities of Serbia Ms. Velventou who were affected by the ban on crossing the bridge, he emphasized that the collection of data continues, so that “with the completion of the work, we can document the financial damage suffered by the professionals and businesses of area”.

The bridge of the Serbs is the second largest bridge in the country after that of Rio and was built in 1975 when PPC built the Polyfotos dam, creating one of the largest artificial lakes in Greece.

On March 17, 2023, for safety reasons, all vehicles were prohibited from crossing the bridge, in order to carry out restoration work on its cantilevers and strengthening it with new steel tendons.