Gozo tun­nel project moves ahead, ten­der is­sued for ge­o­log­i­cal data

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Trans­port Malta has is­sued a ten­der for the gath­er­ing of ge­o­log­i­cal data on the sub-sur­face of the pro­posed Malta-Gozo Chan­nel.

The win­ning contractor will carry geotech­ni­cal in­ves­ti­ga­tions at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions both on land and in the chan­nel, with drilling ex­pected to reach ap­prox­i­mately 200m be­low the sea bed in some ar­eas, Trans­port Malta said yes­ter­day.

The ex­tracted core sam­ples will help es­tab­lish the ge­o­log­i­cal for­ma­tions of the area, which will even­tu­ally de­ter­mine the fea­si­bil­ity of con­struct­ing a tun­nel.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tions form­ing part of this ten­der are part of wider stud­ies be­ing com­mis­sioned in or­der to gather in­for­ma­tion about the sub-sur­face con­di­tions of the pro­posed tun­nel route be­tween Malta and Gozo and ul­ti­mately es­tab­lish a ge­o­log­i­cal model of the area un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The model will, in turn, form the ba­sis for the con­cep­tual de­sign of the tun­nel.

Trans­port Malta ex­plained: “The gov­ern­ment has em­barked on a long-term strat­egy to ad­dress the prob­lems faced ev­ery day by Goz­i­tan com­muters. Be­tween 2000 and 2010, the num­ber of ve­hi­cles cross­ing in­creased by 4.1 per cent ev­ery year. In 2010, an av­er­age of 1,500 ve­hi­cles crossed each day in each di­rec­tion. Last year, ac­cord­ing to the NSO, a to­tal of 1,348,502 ve­hi­cles made the cross­ing – an in­crease of 23 per cent over the 2010 traf­fic. The study is a ma­jor mile­stone in the process to even­tu­ally es­tab­lish a fixed link be­tween Malta and Gozo.”

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