The Malta Independent 23 January 2021, Saturday

Watch: Roads ministry defends inauguration of incomplete projects

Neil Camilleri Thursday, 19 November 2020, 07:52 Last update: about 3 months ago

The Infrastructure Ministry has defended the ‘inauguration’ of major road projects before their actual completion.

Over the past few weeks, the government held press conferences to announce the ‘completion’ of parts of a number of projects, but it turned out that the projects were still days away from completion and were again closed to traffic within a few hours. These include the Santa Lucija tunnel, Sant Antnin Road in Ghajnsielem, some of the Marsa flyovers and part of the Central Link project in Attard.


It was pointed out last week that red velvet chairs set up for a press conference in Ghajnsielem last week were placed on uneven asphalt. In fact, when the road was inaugurated, it still lacked the final layer of tarmac.

The Santa Lucija tunnels were inaugurated a few weeks ago, but the tunnels have been close to traffic on several occasions, sometimes for days on end. The video above was taken this morning. The tunnel has been closed in the direction of Marsa for a number of days now. It is unclear whether the tunnel is being closed throughout the entire day, but the fact is that both northbound and southbound lanes have been closed to traffic on several occasions because lighting and crash barriers are still being installed.

Replying to questions by this newsroom, a spokesperson for Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg said: “This government is carrying out an unprecedented upgrade in all of the country's infrastructure and is fully focused on the continuation and completion of works.”

“In the case of major projects which were unheard of till a few years ago, media events are held when the Ministry feels it has to communicate the completion of an important phase of the project, the opening of new roads or flyovers and the construction of new tunnels, among others to inform the general public that they can start using the new infrastructure.  Maltese and Gozitans can vouch whether infrastructural projects across the country are really being completed, or simply launched just for the sake of it.”

Sources have said that the government could have easily waited a few more weeks to inaugurate the project only once they were fully completed, including with the installation of lighting and other safety features.

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