The Malta Independent 23 July 2019, Tuesday

Watch: First part of upgraded Msida Valley bridge open to traffic

Wednesday, 19 June 2019, 09:33 Last update: about 2 months ago

The first part of the upgraded Msida Valley bridge was opened to traffic today, Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg said.

The work on the project, set to widen the stretch of road to three lanes each way, started in November. It is aimed to improve the traffic flow on one of the busiest carriageways.

In a statement, Infrastructure Malta said opened the first half of the Msida Valley Road Bridge, after it rebuilt it with a wider deck to accommodate the new lanes of Regional Road.     

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The first two lanes of this new overpass are replacing Regional Road’s existing southbound lanes over the old bridge next to it. In the coming weeks, Infrastructure Malta will shift the two northbound lanes to the new bridge as well, so that it can rebuild the rest of the old structure and integrate it in the new design of Regional Road.

The Regional Road project includes the reconstruction and widening of part of this road to six lanes, three in each direction, from the Tal-Qroqq Tunnels in Msida towards Santa Venera. This stretch of road links with several other arterial roads through slip roads and other junctions. All these connections are being modified to improve their safety and efficiency.

Built in the 1970s, the Msida Valley Road Bridge spans the two carriageways of Regional Road over Msida Valley Road. It is being rebuilt to accommodate the additional lanes and to optimise the road’s alignment and superelevation, for increased safety.    

Earlier this year, Infrastructure Malta constructed and opened the first stretches of the two additional Regional Road lanes. It also built the foundations and abutments of the new bridge and demolished part of the existing one. The new bridge deck opened this week is supported on six 20-metre prestressed concrete beams weighing 24 tonnes each. When the second half of the structure is built, this bridge will be the widest one in Malta, extending 23.5 metres.     

The 1.1 kilometres 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. Further north, part of this new lane has already been constructed and opened to road users. This lane is reducing 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 Mater Dei Hospital.

A long section of the additional lane in the southbound carriageway is already in use. This lane will continue improving vehicle flows down the ramp 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 eventually also provide safer access to the Regional Road exit towards Old Railway Track and Kappillan Mifsud Road (Birkirkara), the two roads converging at the Birkirkara-Santa Venera roundabout.

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