The Malta Independent 19 August 2019, Monday

Buqana Road reopened as reconstruction project nears completion

Tuesday, 6 August 2019, 11:15 Last update: about 13 days ago

Infrastructure Malta reopened the southbound lane of Buqana Road, from Mosta and Mgarr to Mtarfa, as the €3.6 million project to reconstruct this road enters its final stages.

The project includes the widening of this road to add a second northbound lane from Mtarfa to Mosta and a new cycle track in the same direction. The roundabouts at the two ends of this road were redesigned to include bypass lanes and roundabout cycle lanes. The agency is also rebuilding this road’s old bridge over Chadwick Lakes.

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This upgrade will improve road safety along this major route to and from the northern part of Malta, whilst reducing travel times by 36%.

The project contractors completed most of the reconstruction works whilst keeping the road open in both directions. In June, the southbound lane had to be diverted to a nearby secondary road through Ta’ Qali so that the existing bridge could start being dismantled and replaced with a new, wider structure. With most of the bridge structure now in place, on Monday Infrastructure Malta reopened the road’s southbound lane, from the Tas-Sriedek roundabout, between Mosta and Mgarr, towards Mtarfa and Rabat.

The old Chadwick Lakes bridge comprised an arched stone structure which was later widened with another concrete deck to fit a second lane. The new bridge is a single 18-metre overpass accommodating the three vehicle lanes and the cycle track. Ten 10.5-metre precast concrete beams, weighing 13.6 tonnes each, support its deck.

The old structure included a central pier built in the middle of the Chadwick Lakes valley watercourse. Infrastructure Malta’s architects introduced an improved bridge design to do away with this central pillar, which was obstructing this valley’s water flows. As part of the project, the agency is also removing several layers of debris and waste which had gathered in this part of the valley through the years.

Before building the new road foundations, Infrastructure Malta laid several kilometres of new underground utilities and telecommunications networks pipes and cables, and upgraded the road’s storm water system to reduce flooding risks. Over 2 kilometres of new boundary rubble walls were also built along the sides of the road. A new low-energy LED street lighting system will illuminate the carriageway for increased safety at night. The new lanes, the two roundabouts and the new 1.8 km cycle track will be completed with the topmost asphalt surface layers in the coming weeks, so that the project can be completed before the end of summer.

The Buqana Road project is co-financed by the European Union, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)           

 

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