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Maintenance of Stormwater Gratings

Maintenance of Stormwater Gratings thumbnail

Today (December 2017) I have noted two catchment pits full to the brim with leaves and debris as per photos below. There is no need to mention the locality since the lack of maintenance is a generic issue. Clearly these gratings will not be collecting any stormwater runoff, during the rainy season, when they are most needed.

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The following chart is used to determine the road structure for roads in Malta. It has been prepared by Profs. Dr. Ing. Klaus Muller in the year 2000 and forms part of the “Directive for the Standardization of Pavements for Traffic areas”. It is based on a similar chart used by road engineers in Germany. The chart is not a direct copy of the German chart but has been adapted accordingly to match local conditions. This post shows how weak soils can be improved through the use of geocells and cement stabilisation techniques.

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How to determine the structure of a road

Roads in Malta are designed according to the directive entitled the Standardisation of Pavements for traffic areas a directive written in the year 2000, by Profs. Dr. Ing. Klaus Muller while consulting the Government of Malta on road construction matters. You may download a pdf document of the directive from the official Transport Malta Website.

This directive is based on the German Code of Practice RStO 2000, and takes into consideration Maltese conditions such as climate, available construction materials, sub-grade conditions, and pavement performance.

The main feature of this directive is a chart, which I refer to as the Road Structure Catalog, from where engineers can select the type of road to construct depending on various factors such as:

  1. Sub-grade conditions and bearing capacity
  2. Construction method
  3. Condition of the traffic area
  4. Present and future traffic loading etc.

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Cold joints in asphalt pavements FAQ

Cold joints are a necessary evil in road construction. They cannot be avoided but they can be planned. Following the correct procedures to work next to them will ensure that the risk of failure of the cold joint is decreased.

Cold joints in asphalt works cannot be eliminated. However, through proper planning and construction of joints the risk of failure at the joints can be reduced. This will ensure that the roads perform satisfactorily through their design life.

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FAQ: Transport Malta’s Standards & Specifications

Standards and Specifications

Transport Malta’s Standards and Specifications outline the requirements for road construction. Quality Assurance and Quality Control procedures will ensure that if the specifications are met the roads will last longer.

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How to construct a shallow manhole

Most underground services need to be accessed to carry out repair and maintenance works. They can be accessed through manholes, which consist of a vertical shaft allowing a person to get into a chamber below ground level. The type and size of manhole depends on the type of action required for repair and maintenance works to the service. Each entity has its own requirements for its own manhole.

Manholes can be divided into two categories:

  • Series 1500 Manholes for motorway communication ducts.
  • Series 500 Manholes for sewer and storm water networks, including catch pits, inspection chambers and draw pits.
In this post, the latter manhole will be described.

Swift Calcs Beta

Just encountered this beta version of Swift Calcs, which looks very promising. It is designed by engineers for engineers and allows you to perform your engineering design and analysis calculations using conventional human readable mathematical notation. At the moment it is free of charge and can be accessed through this link:

For more information, check out the Swift Calcs blog. Should you know of any other interesting software for civil and structural engineers please leave link in the comments section below.


Before carrying out any trenching works, coordinate with local service providers to mark their underground services in the area where the proposed trench will be excavated.

Services  may include water services mains, sewer mains, electricity cables, telecommunication cables, highway communication cables and in certain cases gas/fuel pipelines. Each entity marks their services with a colour coded spray. In Malta, the following colour codes apply:

Go plc. a telecommunication company marks its underground infrastructure in highlighter green. Water Services Corporation uses red spray to mark water, sewer and rising mains. Enemalta, an energy provider, uses highlighter orange to mark its underground cables. Melita plc. and Vodafone Malta Ltd., who are telecommunication companies do not have any specific colour codes to mark their underground services.



Transport Malta Roadworks Permits

Apply for a roadworks permit before carrying out any road works

Apply for a roadworks permit before carrying out any road works

#1 Always apply for a roadworks permit before carrying out any works on roads, footpaths, landscaped areas etc. It is illegal to carry out road works without a roadworks permit as stated in LN 29 of 2010.

#2 Only contractors registered with Transport Malta can carry out road works. The list of registered contractors can be accessed through this link. If you want to register please follow this link.

#3 There are three types of roadworks permits: RWP-1 for Major road works, RWP-2 for Emergency works and RWP-3 for Minor works.

#4 Transport Malta, Local Councils, Service providers and contractors registered with Transport Malta can apply for a roadworks permit. Applications can be submitted online through

#5 Transport Malta shall start to review the roadworks permit application only if it is submitted on the prescribed application forms, is accompanied by the relevant fees and all data required has been submitted.

#6 Submittals include the provision of a site plan on a 1:2500 survey sheet of 1988 marking the location of the intervention. The site plan must be signed and rubber stamped by a qualified architect and civil engineer.

#7 Contractor must provide a copy of the insurance policy covering the works.

#8 Contractor must agree in writing that he will backfill and restore the surface of the road to specifications set by the Authority and in accordance with the conditions laid out in the permit.

#9 Once the permit is issued carry out the works as efficiently as possible whilst meeting the required specifications. Backfill and reinstate as indicated in the permit.

#10 Once the works are completed prepare and submit a compliance report to Transport Malta for permit closure.

For further information you may refer to Roadworks Procedure (Permits) on Transport Malta website.