Ongoing works on Malta’s infrastructure
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.