On­go­ing works on Malta’s in­fra­struc­ture

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

Min­is­ter for Trans­port, In­fra­struc­ture and Cap­i­tal Projects Ian Borg ad­dressed a press con­fer­ence at his min­istry. Dur­ing this con­fer­ence, the min­is­ter spoke about the in­fras­truc­tural works car­ried out this sum­mer, to­gether with on­go­ing works and oth­ers which are ex­pected to be­gin in the com­ing days and weeks.

Dr Borg com­mended Trans­port Malta and its con­trac­tors, and said that this sum­mer they have worked ex­tremely hard, aim­ing to con­tinue im­prov­ing the qual­ity of our roads, to re­duce the in­con­ve­niences caused by traf­fic be­fore school starts, and to con­tinue re­duc­ing the risk of ac­ci­dents for road users.

He said that works which are un­der­way form part of the plan which will be car­ried out in the com­ing years, and ex­plained that while a num­ber of projects may be com­pleted im­me­di­ately, oth­ers need to be done more grad­u­ally. The min­is­ter stated that we must over­come chal­lenges in our in­fra­struc­ture through ini­tia­tives of vary­ing lev­els and con­sid­er­ing dif­fer­ent as­pects.

Dur­ing his speech, Ian Borg spoke about large-scale projects such as those in Kap­para and Marsa which will lead to sub­stan­tial im­prove­ment in these main junc­tions, as well as about other ini­tia­tives.

Among these, he men­tioned the work car­ried out in Lija and the road­works in Gudja which are ex­pected to be con­cluded soon.

The min­is­ter ex­pressed his sat­is­fac­tion with the pos­i­tive feed­back re­ceived with re­gard to the work con­ducted in Lija, ow­ing to the con­sid­er­able re­duc­tion of time spent driv­ing through this area. He also made ref­er­ence to the by­pass lanes which are be­ing opened in Gudja, near the air­port, and con­firmed that the min­istry is in dis­cus­sions with cy­clist representatives in or­der to find pos­si­ble so­lu­tions to re­duce safety haz­ards.

Min­is­ter Borg went on to speak about a num­ber of other projects, in­clud­ing im­prove­ments be­ing im­ple­mented in the MCAST round­about area in Cor­radino, where works are ex­pected to mod­ify the bus stop area so that traf­fic in­con­ve­nience is re­duced, while also in­tro­duc­ing a new lane around the round­about to fa­cil­i­tate the flow of traf­fic.

He also men­tioned works which are cur­rently be­ing ini­ti­ated in Qormi, near the round­about which al­lows en­try into Qormi. This round­about sees a con­sider- able num­ber of large ve­hi­cles on a day to day ba­sis, where one out of ev­ery ten ve­hi­cles is a bus or a heavy ve­hi­cle. These types of ve­hi­cles have twice the im­pact of a ve­hi­cle of reg­u­lar size on traf­fic.

The min­is­ter said that work car­ried out on this round­about should re­duce traf­fic, es­pe­cially in Man­wel Dimech road com­ing from Qormi and Żeb­bug, and said that this is only the first phase of works planned for this area. In fact, this project is planned to take place over four phases. This is be­ing done in or­der to have the least pos­si­ble im­pact on traf­fic while works are car­ried out.

With re­gard to the work be­ing done in Ingiered Road in Marsa, the min­is­ter said that, although they might not have huge ef­fects on con­ges­tion, these changes will re­duce the risk of ac­ci­dents. He stated that when the road was dis­cussed, it was de­cided that the best so­lu­tion was for the ar­range­ment con­nect­ing this road to Marsa Road to be changed com­pletely.

Min­is­ter Borg also spoke about other works which are be­ing car­ried out across the coun­try, in­cluded the im­prove­ment of ac­cess to the schools in Im­sel­liet Road in Mġarr and the resur­fac­ing of sev­eral roads, such as Bon­ta­dini Road in Birkirkara, Birkirkara Road in At­tard, the road in front of the Ro­man Villa in Ra­bat, and other roads in a num­ber of lo­cal­i­ties.

The Min­is­ter an­nounced a num- ber of projects which are ex­pected to be­gin shortly. Among these, works in Mosta Road which will widen the road from the ceme­tery to the Technopark to in­tro­duce a new lane go­ing up north, are sched­uled to be­gin.

Im­prove­ment works in In­de­pen­dence Av­enue in the same area are also planned.

Min­is­ter Borg re­minded mem­bers of the press that a call for of­fers for the Marsa-Ħam­run by­pass project, which will cost around €5 mil­lion, has been pub­lished.

He also an­nounced a project in Buqana Road be­tween Mtarfa and Mosta, which is ex­pected to be­gin in the com­ing months. This project is ex­pected to re­duce traf­fic con­ges­tion while also tack­ling the risk of ac­ci­dents.

Perit John Demi­coli, one of Trans­port Malta’s ar­chi­tects, de­scribed in fur­ther de­tail these projects, and ex­plained the goals be­hind all that is planned and all that has been im­ple­mented in places such as Lija and Gudja.

In his con­clu­sion, the min­is­ter said that, while ex­ten­sive im­prove­ment works are be­ing car­ried out in terms of in­fra­struc­ture, it is also im­por­tant to strive to­wards ed­u­cat­ing road users, so that with im­proved at­ten­tion and re­spect on the road, we re­duce the num­ber of ac­ci­dents.

The min­is­ter em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of mov­ing with the times, and con­sid­er­ing tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments which can help us, es­pe­cially when it comes to en­force­ment. The min­is­ter stated that his door is al­ways open to those who wish to work to­wards so­lu­tions which are in the in­ter­est of all road users, but stated the im­por­tance of ac­knowl­edg­ing the lim­i­ta­tions of space we face in a great num­ber of our roads.

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