Infrastructure Malta started laying the foundations of the first two of the seven flyover structures of the Marsa Junction Project, connecting Triq Giuseppe Garibaldi to Triq Aldo Moro, Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg said in a press statement on Monday.
The €70m investment aims to upgrade the principal road link to the southern parts of Malta and ease traffic pressure over the Marsa junction — an essential crossing for traffic to and from the airport —, an area of which often sees long queues during the morning and evening peak hours.
According to Mr Borg, the current project is the most substantial investment on any single artery in the Maltese road network, and expectations are high that it will transform how the country looks at infrastructure. Malta has seen an increasing amount of congestions on its roads, chiefly fueled by a quickly expanding economy.
The currently one-level intersection will be turned into a multi-level one, the tallest flyover rising above four storeys in surpassing the flyovers below it. “The widest of the seven structures will include four vehicle lanes, which will fork into two different flyovers, each with two lanes,” the press statement issued by the government’s Department of Information (DOI) says.
In addition to the flyovers, another 12 km of new or reconstructed lanes, grade-separated at three different levels, is expected to create direct northbound and southbound connections.
“This development will eliminate traffic lights waiting times, and related congestion emissions, for over 100,000 road users who travel through this junction every day,” minister Borg says, according to the press statement by the DOI. “This is a project which has been long awaited by the thousands of residents and workers whom every day need to travel to and from the south, and who for years suffered from unbearable traffic congestion and poor air quality. Our country could never continue functioning with an infrastructure which is not coherent in relation to our times and in relation to the demands of our times. An appropriate infrastructure is essential for our country to continue progressing. Less time in traffic quantifies into economic gain for the individual, companies and Maltese and Gozitan families,” the minister says in the press statement.
This third phase will also add over 1.6 kilometres of new footpaths and cycle lanes connecting Marsa and Paola, as well as includes three pedestrian bridges, four new bus laybys, 0.6 kilometres bus lanes and a 380-space park and ride facility.
The first phase of the project started at the end of 2017, with the second phase coming to completion late last year.
The Marsa Junction Project is co-financed through the EU’s Cohesion Fund and Connecting Europe Facility, the press statement notes.
“Our mission is to plan and execute the ongoing optimisation of the road network and other public infrastructure in the Maltese Islands, to ensure they can sustainably and dynamically support the country’s current and future economic, environmental and social development,” Infrastructure Malta says on its official Facebook page.