Marsa junction project starts
Works on the €70 million Marsa junction project have started with the demolition of factories in the area. The project, which will see the construction of some seven flyovers, aims to ease vehicle flow in Malta’s most notorious traffic jam spot. Photo: Baskal Mallia.
Work has officially started on the Marsa road network – a project which will cost approximately €70 million.
Transport Minister Ian Borg was on site yesterday morning, where the demolition of part of the Marsa industrial estate started. The old factories, including BIM Ltd and Astra Cast, which have been relocated to Ħal Far, will make way for an upgraded road network which will serve to ease the traffic flow in one of the areas most notorious for traffic congestion.
“The BIM factory will be knocked down completely within three weeks’ time, while the second factory, Astra Cast, will be demolished by the end of January,” Borg said.
The minister said that the demolition exercise taking place will be contained to a limited area and will not be affecting road users.
The project was earmarked to start in 2018 but this was anticipated by two months. “The first tender for the demolition of these factories, taken by RM construction Ltd, was completed, so we are able to start the work now,” Borg stated. It is expected that the project will be ready in three years’s time.
€40 million of the costs will be borne by the European Union.
“Any work on roads will start approximately in March,” Borg said, adding that the public will be fully notified of any changes in the traffic system closer to the time.
The second tender, which is still being evaluated, is for the widening and reconstruction of Aldo Moro road, which as confirmed above won’t be worked on till approximately March 2018. Both Maltese and foreign contractors have offered to take on the second tender.
The third tender for the actual construction of the flyovers and ring roads is still open, with the closing date set for the end of January 2018. The junction project will consist of three bridges that may be used by pedestrians together with an underground passageway. It also includes a park-and-ride with a capacity of 290 cars.
The five traffic light systems in the area will be removed, and traffic will flow better, Borg added.
The construction of flyovers and ring roads will also lead to the removal of several trees in the area. However, Borg confirmed that 400 new trees will be planted, while others that can be saved will be replanted elsewhere.
“We want to repeat the success of the Kappara project, but this is bigger, bringing on bigger challenges,” the minister stated, adding that the Kappara project was in its final stages and will be completed by the end of the year.