The Malta Independent 25 September 2018, Tuesday

Marsa Junction Project - Dock 7 to be opened during afternoon, several new lanes

Wednesday, 7 March 2018, 15:35 Last update: about 8 months ago

The Transport Ministry is doing its utmost to ensure that the greatest infrastructural project which has ever taken place on our country’s roads, the building of seven flyover structures in Aldo Moro Road in Marsa, is carried out with the least possible difficulties for all those who use this main junction.

In fact, today, a few days after the beginning of the second phase of this project, Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg announced new developments in the Marsa Junction project, including the positive news that Dock 7 will be opened during the afternoon in the opposite direction, together with the opening of several new lanes on the site which previously held one of the old factories which were demolished during the first phase. Together with the alternative routes and temporary lanes announced last week, these new lanes will help vehicles to pass through the Marsa area more quickly and with a lower risk of accidents.

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A new route through Dock 7

The Minister said with that, as of tomorrow morning, from the area near the Corradino MCAST roundabout, the route which passes through Dock 7 and arrives in Marsa—and which is currently only used in the morning (06:00 – 09:00) in the direction to Valletta—will also be open during the late afternoon, between three (15:00) and seven (19:00), in the opposite direction.

Thanks to this alteration, this road can now serve as another alternative route for those who, in the afternoon, travel back to their homes in the south of the country from the Valletta, Marsa and surrounding area, until the Marsa Junction project is complete.

Transport Malta’s Roads and Infrastructure Directorate reached an agreement with the private operator of Dock 7. This development was a result of monitoring of the course of the project, which goes hand in hand with the principle of continuous evaluation which is forming the work of the Ministry.

This principle also led the Marsa Junction project to be divided into three phases, towards more efficiency, and to be extended through another project of the Santa Luċija tunnels. This work is also being complemented by other works which were done in Qormi and others which are ongoing in Luqa which, although not directly related to the project, will be helping traffic to move more quickly for all those who will start using this route as an alternative during works.

The Minister said that another measure which can help during this project is to utilise the night-time hours where possible, as the junction area is not residential.

Four new lanes instead of factories

Thanks to the new lanes which were opened instead of the factories demolished earlier this year, between Labour Road and Aldo Moro Road, this week has seen the opening of four new lanes with a dual aim. During the coming months, these lanes will eliminate a difficulty in the existing design of the road for those coming from Santa Luċija Avenue and Giuseppe Garibaldi Road towards Aldo Moro Road headed to Valletta and Qormi, doing so with less difficulty. The new lanes avoid the tricky turn which was present in this connection, and which used to create traffic and increase the risk of accidents. At the same time, a new lane was prepared for those who wish to turn towards Qormi and Żebbug through the road near the Turkish cemetery and the golf course.

During the third phase of the project, which will take place during the later months of this year, these new lanes will be used in a different way, as part of a number of new routes which will be opened instead of existing lanes, while the flyover structures and other new roads planned in this investment are being built on them.

The rebuilding of Gvern Lokali Road has started

The Marsa Junction project is being carried out in a number of phases to reduce inconveniences for the 90,000 commuters and other persons who use these roads, live or work in the area. As is being done with the use of new lanes in Labour Road, new lanes and routes are being opened each time existing ones require works.

Last week, the team leading works, opened new provisional routes to be used instead of some of the existing lanes, which are undergoing excavation works as well as the building of several new roads and other project-related infrastructure. This work will carry on in the coming months even at the beginning of the third phase.

Lanes previously dedicated to buses were also opened to all vehicles to facilitate journeys through these roads during works. At the same time, those passing through Giuseppe Garibaldi Road towards Aldo Moro Road in the direction of Marsa, Qormi, Valletta or other localities in the same direction, now have two new alternative routes. Coming from Giuseppe Garibaldi Road, one can choose between a new lane which takes you directly to Aldo Moro Road or an alternative route through the Marsa Industrial Estate, which has been marked with directional signs. This route can be used to get to Aldo Moro Road or even to keep going directly to Qormi.

These measures were taken as Gvern Lokali Road, which originally linked Giuseppe Garibaldi Road to Aldo Moro Road, was closed for the commencement of the building of some of the new roads and other underground structures as part of the second phase of the Marsa Junction project.

A €70 million investment

The Marsa Junction Project includes the building of new roads, seven flyover structures, pedestrian passageways, cyclist facilities, parking and other developments to strengthen this junction, which is a primary one in the country’s road network. Through this investment, the complex traffic light system currently in place will be eliminated in favour of different lanes which persist throughout different routes which meet at this junction without requiring vehicles to stop waiting for others passing through other directions.

The first phase of this project, which includes the demolition of old factories in the area, is near completion. In February, the architects and administrators of the project commenced with the second phase, which includes the development of several new lanes along Aldo Moro Road and other nearby roads. The development of required distribution systems for electrical, water, drainage, telecommunication, and storm water collection services passing through these roads, has also started. Later this year, contractors will also begin the third and final phase, to build the seven flyover structures and other project facilities.

The Minister reiterated the Government’s commitment to continue addressing the issue of traffic congestion through several short-, medium- and long-term projects towards improved quality of life. He concluded by reminding those present that the Marsa Junction Project, and all works involved, is the first one to be approved by the European Commission which is co-financed by the ‘Connecting European Facilities’ fund.

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