The Malta Independent 12 August 2020, Wednesday

Third Marsa Junction Project flyover opens as Addolorata traffic lights are dismantled

Thursday, 12 December 2019, 18:14 Last update: about 9 months ago

Infrastructure Malta opened the third flyover of the Marsa Junction Project and switched off and dismantled the old traffic lights next to the Addolorata Cemetery, on Thursday afternoon.

This new flyover structure, the longest of its kind in Malta, will initially take road users from Aldo Moro Road towards Santa Lucija Avenue (Addolorata Hill). It will drastically reduce journey times along this principal route to southern Malta. At the same time, by removing the final conflict at the Addolorata Cemetery crossroads, the flyover rendered its 1997 traffic lights system redundant. This means more travel time savings along the other route crossing this junction, from Sir Paul Boffa Avenue (Fgura, Corradino and Paola) northbound towards Aldo Moro Road (Marsa).

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Road users will no longer have to queue at the traffic lights when travelling through these two routes. The new flyover and the removal of the traffic lights will be saving road users a minimum of 692 hours of travel time every day. Further travel time reductions will be gained when the other four flyover structures of this project are opened by end June 2020.

Infrastructure Malta completed the construction of the third flyover structure six weeks ahead of schedule. It was originally planned to be opened towards the end of January 2020. The first two flyovers, connecting Aldo Moro Road with Giuseppe Garibaldi Road, were opened in September.

For the next few months, this new connection will be used in the southbound direction, from Marsa to Santa Lucija. Existing lanes at ground level will be closed to make way for the construction of the other four flyovers of this project. When these structures are ready as well, the flyover opened on Thursday will be reverted to its final configuration, in the northbound direction, from Santa Lucija Avenue to Aldo Moro Road.

The new flyover’s deck includes 65 concrete prestressed beams forming a 227-metre stretch of two- lane carriageway (twice the length of a football ground). At the Aldo Moro Road side, the flyover adjoins two of the four lanes of the first flyover, which is already in use. It rises to a height of 15.9 metres (over four and a half storeys) above another road at ground level.

Infrastructure Malta’s contractors used 9,225 tonnes of concrete and 1,225 tonnes of steel rebar to build this flyover and the abutment ramp connecting it to Santa Lucija Avenue. This month, workers laid 1,111 tonnes of asphalt to complete the two-lane carriageway on its deck. The flyover’s final asphalt layer will be applied once all the new roads of this project are ready in 2020. For this final layer, Infrastructure Malta will be introducing a longer-lasting type of asphalt that has never been used in the country’s road network. This material is more resistant to high temperatures, large traffic flows and heavy vehicles. In Malta, it has only ever been used to surface the Airport’s runways.

The €70 million Marsa Junction Project includes the development of a new multi-level intersection to replace the Addolorata traffic lights system with 12 kilometres of uninterrupted lanes, grade-separated at three levels, creating direct northbound and southbound connections between the arterial roads merging at this network node. It is ending traffic lights waiting times along this principal route to southern Malta, whilst reducing congestion emissions in Marsa and other nearby localities.

The project also introduces safer facilities for alternative modes of travel, such as footpaths and cycle paths, segregated pedestrian crossings, improved bus laybys, bus lanes, a park and ride area, landscaped areas and other infrastructure.

This investment is co-financed through the EU’s Cohesion Fund and Connecting Europe Facility.

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