The Malta Independent 18 September 2021, Saturday

Luqa junction project to kick off this summer; no traffic diversions for now – IM

Janet Fenech Sunday, 25 July 2021, 10:30 Last update: about 3 months ago

Site works for the Luqa Junction Project will begin shortly after having been approved by The Planning Authority, a spokesperson for roads agency Infrastructure Malta told The Malta Independent on Sunday.

The project is expected to reduce travel times by up to 74% in all directions, according to the authority.

The works on the roundabout which form part of this project that leads traffic to and from Qormi, Santa Lucija and the airport, is not intended to result in a closure of the said roundabout during the entirety of the project.

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In constructing a flyover, an underpass and other dedicated lanes at grade, the Luqa Junction Project, unveiled in May 2020, will create uninterrupted links between three arterial roads: San Tumas Road towards Qormi, Il-Kunsill tal-Ewropa Road from Santa Lucija and Marsa, and L-Avjazzjoni Avenue, which leads to Gudja, Birzebbuga, the Kirkop Tunnels, the Airport and the Freeport. 

The project will also see the transformation of the vast area currently occupied by the large roundabout into approximately 3,000 square metres of public recreational areas landscaped with footpaths, trees and monumental artworks, with easy pedestrian access from the centre of Luqa.
Plans include a new segregated cycling and pedestrian path along part of Il-Kunsill tal-Ewropa Road, which will be adjoined to existing cycle lanes and footpaths in L-Avjazzjoni Avenue. 

Being in close proximity to the already on-going €18 million Kirkop Tunnels & Airport Intersection Project, the Luqa Junction Project was planned to work in tandem with it − in order to group the diversions of both the projects at once − in a bid to reduce any traffic congestion caused due to road closures.

These two projects will also lead to significant air quality improvements in Luqa, Gudja and neighbouring areas. It is estimated that they will cut particulate matter emissions by up to 9.1 tonnes every year. Similarly, carbon dioxide emissions, a major contributor to the climate crisis, will go down by up to 33,000 tonnes annually.

The Kirkop project seeks to create quicker and safer connections to Luqa, Gudja, Birzebbuga, Kirkop, Mqabba, Qrendi, Zurrieq, Safi and other nearby areas.
It comprises the redevelopment of the Gudja roundabout to add a new underpass to Birzebbuga, a flyover to the Kirkop Tunnels and new facilities for alternative modes of travel. It should also improve access to the Malta International Airport and to the Malta Freeport, two strategic locations for many economic sectors.

These two projects are sought to eliminate two accident black spots by ending roundabout conflicts and by introducing safer spaces for pedestrians and cyclists.  

The other five upcoming Infrastructure Malta projects − the Bombi Subway, the Msida Creek Project, Pembroke-St Julian’s Connections, the Zabbar-Marsascala cycling track and the new Mriehel Bypass junction − are currently at different stages of the applicable planning, stakeholder consultation and permitting processes. Their timeframes depend on the duration of these processes, subject to other national entities and authorities.

Infrastructure Malta plans to commence these projects in 2022 or 2023. 

 

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