Residents of a landmark building that was damaged by drilling works in the upscale Zamalek neighbourhood may return back to the building after engineering measures to fix the damage were finished in less than two months, the transportation ministry said.
The 12-storey Sharbatly building, which was once home to a number of Egypt’s golden age stars, is located near ongoing excavation work to extend Cairo's underground metro to run through Zamalek. “Slight ground subsidence occurred at one of the corners of building number 17 in Brazil Street in Zamalek as well as at the front yard and fence of the [adjacent] Bahraini embassy," read a statement by the National Authority for Tunnels.
A corner of the building was damaged during the work of the tunnel boring machine, the ministry said on Monday, adding that all the engineering recommendations of a committee formed from professors of Egypt’s Ain Shams University were implemented to restore the building.
The residents appeared in photos published by the ministry offering roses to the Minister of Transportation Kamel El-Wazir, who was present when they were allowed to return to the building.
El-Wazir said the building can now carry five times the weight it was designed for, adding that it is totally safe. He noted that the ministry, represented by the National Authority for Tunnels, is also ready to reform the facilities of the building as per the request of the residents.
The minister also gave roses to the workers, technicians and engineers who managed to carry out the required restorations in a short time, according to the statement.
When the incident occurred in July, El-Wazir said in TV comments that the residents were given EGP 30,000 each in order to find a temporary residence until they are able to return to the building.
Since the announcement that the extension of the third metro line would pass through Zamalek, many residents of the upscale district have expressed concern, including about the impact of the construction on the island’s older buildings.
The metro’s extended third line will run from Heliopolis to the Ataba district in Downtown Cairo and then through a Maspero stop to a new Zamalek stop, and on to the densely populated district of Imbaba on the Giza side of the Nile.