Arab groups oppose Israel's desire to replace structurally unsafe bridge.
The deteriorating condition and potential reconstruction of the Mughrabi bridge, located in Jerusalem's Old City, is getting a temporary fix despite controversy between Israelis and Palestinians.
New fireproofing has been added to the span, which travels from the Western Wall to the Temple Mount complex, as part of an attempt to strengthen the structure and reduce its fire risk.
Jerusalem city engineer Shlomo Eshkol ordered the bridge closed in early December after issuing warnings about its safety for the past year. The span, originally an earthen ramp that collapsed in a 2004 snowstorm, was replaced by the temporary structure.

Jerusalem municipal officials want to destroy the bridge and build a new one, noting its fire risk to the Temple Mount area. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has intervened to stop the demolition, fearing it could trigger riots across the Arab world.

The bridge has been a subject of controversy because it is the sole entrance for non-Muslims who want to visit the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic holy site, which is located on top of the Temple Mount.

"There is a consensus among Israeli engineers that the structure is unsafe, and the Jerusalem Planning Commission has already approved the construction of a new bridge," said a senior Jerusalem official.
However, he stressed that the current political environment has prevented the project from moving ahead. There is strong opposition from the Council for Moslem Interests in Israel and by the Wakf Islamic Trust. The council deemed the bridge structurally safe and contends that any work should be coordinated with the trust, which controls the Temple Mount.