Pledge to restore historic Plaka Bridge, destroyed in flash floods

The Greek government believes that a 19th century bridge in northwestern Greece, which collapsed over the weekend amid flooding can be rebuilt.

Alternate Infrastructure Minister Christos Spritzis said on Monday that experts have already been dispatched to the Plaka Bridge, which spanned the Arachthos River, to assess the damage.

He said that the materials would be recovered from the river once water levels have fallen and it is safe for work to be carried out.

The bridge, built in 1866, was 40 meters high and 20 meters wide, making it one of the largest one-arch stone bridges in Europe. Between 1881 and 1912, when the Arachthos River marked the border between Greece and the Ottoman Empire, a customs post operated next to the bridge.

It was in this building that representatives of the EAM and EDES resistance groups signed a treaty in February 1944. It was known as the Treaty of Plaka.

Heavy rain over the weekend caused extensive flooding in the villages of Arta. There was also widespread damage to the road network in Epirus.

Several villages have been evacuated and Spritzis told Mega TV that experts are already assessing the damage so that compensation can be paid out.