A structural engineer has warned that the wooden bridge serving as the sole access point for Jews and tourists into Jerusalem’s Temple Mount holy site is in immediate danger of collapsing, and poses a risk to anyone who uses it, Channel 13 news reports.
The bridge in the Western Wall compound leading to the Mughrabi Gate was hastily constructed over 15 years ago as a temporary replacement for a mound that had been in danger of collapsing.
After examining the bridge, engineer Ofer Cohen writes in an official letter to the Western Wall Heritage Foundation that the wood is “in a state of extreme dryness and has many longitudinal cracks.”
He writes that efforts to extend the wood’s life have failed and its current state “doesn’t enable safe use of the bridge over time.”
His “unequivocal” recommendation is to replace the bridge with a metal one that would be more durable and fireproof.
However, that would likely highly inflame tensions with the Palestinians and with Jordan, who view any such activity as a provocation against Muslims at the Temple Mount, which houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque.