The Malta Independent 22 May 2019, Wednesday

Watch: Reconstruction of Msida Valley Road Bridge in progress

Thursday, 14 March 2019, 13:13 Last update: about 3 months ago

Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg visited the ongoing reconstruction works of the Msida Valley Road Bridge. The current Msida Valley Road Bridge is being replaced with a bigger structure that can accommodate the realignment and widening of Regional Road, as part of a major upgrade of this artery and seven nearby junctions.

Minister Borg noted that the 1970s bridge spanning the two carriageways of Regional Road over Msida Valley Road, needs to be rebuilt to accommodate the additional lanes and to optimise the road’s alignment and super elevation, for increased safety.

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“Part of the existing bridge deck started being detached from the rest of the structure on Tuesday night, to make way for completion of the abutments and to position the first of 12 concrete beams that will support the new bridge deck. These 20-metre beams are being cast at an offsite location and will start being transported to Regional Road in the coming weeks. It is to be noted that once complete, the new bridge will be one of the widest bridge structures in Malta, extending 23.5 metres,” noted Minister Ian Borg.

During the last few months, Infrastructure Malta constructed the first of the two additional Regional Road lanes and started building the foundations and abutments of the new bridge. A few days ago, the two carriageways of Regional Road were shifted by a few metres so that the bridge construction works could continue without affecting any of the four lanes currently in use.

The reconstruction of the bridge and the widening of the two Regional Road carriageways are being implemented in phases to ensure that the existing lanes and connections of this major route of the Maltese road network are kept open, with the least possible disruptions to road users.

“We have introduced the concept of carrying out roadworks at night and I believe that this is the true way forward in order to create the least possible disruption during the day. It was a great pleasure for me to be able to meet these workers on site, and I would like to express my gratitude for their effort,” said the Minister.

Parts of the new lane along the southbound carriageway of Regional Road will be opened to road users soon. Infrastructure Malta has also started the construction of the sixth lane along the sides of the northbound carriageway.

“The Regional Road project, which includes the reconstruction and widening of part of the road to six lanes, three in each direction, from Tal-Qroqq Tunnels in Msida towards Santa Venera, is another major project that will complement the rest of the work that has been done on the main route of our country that links North to South. After the Coast Road project, we implemented the Kappara Junction Project and rebuilt and widened the Marsa-Ħamrun Bypass whilst we moved ahead with the first two phases of the Marsa Junction Project and planned the Santa Luċija tunnels project. Regional Road was one of the remaining weak links and so we set to work on it. We are also planning the upgrade of another challenging part of this route in Pembroke, Swieqi and St Julian’s.

Improving this stretch of Regional road was important also to improve the safety of this road. The road links with several other arteries through slip roads and other junctions and this project will seek to modify and improve all these connections. This stretch of road sees an average of one accident per week, so the introduction of a safer design of the road and of the reconstructed bridge is another essential objective of this project,” commented Minister Borg.

The 1.1 kilometres of new lanes being added along Regional Road will improve the safety of a number of junctions along this north-south route, whilst increasing its capacity and efficiency by reducing waiting times at its merging lanes and exits.

In the northbound carriageway, from the Santa Venera tunnels towards Msida, one of the additional lanes will provide safer access from the slip roads connecting Msida Valley Road, Old Railway Track in Birkirkara and Kappillan Mifsud Road in Santa Venera to Regional Road. At the same time, further north, the additional lane will also reduce travel times when exiting Regional Road through the slip road in the direction of the Birkirkara Bypass (Dun Karm Psaila Road), the University of Malta and the Mater Dei Hospital.

The additional lane in the southbound carriageway will improve vehicle flows along the slip road connecting the Birkirkara Bypass and the Tal-Qroqq (skatepark) roundabout with Regional Road’s southbound carriageway by replacing the existing short merging lane with an uninterrupted lane towards Santa Venera. The same lane will also provide safer access to the Regional Road exit towards Old Railway Track and Kappillan Mifsud Road, the two roads converging at the Birkirkara-Santa Venera roundabout.

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