The Malta Independent 21 September 2021, Tuesday

Central Link to be fully opened in October - Ian Borg

Janet Fenech Wednesday, 25 August 2021, 17:25 Last update: about 26 days ago

Ninety percent of the central link project has now been completed, and the remaining works of asphalt laying are set to be finished by first week October, Transport Minister Ian Borg told the press on Wednesday.

He noted that the 2006 local plans had already shown the need for the Central Link project and further discussions were held with five institutions including The European Commission confirming the project plans.

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The 7km of asphalt laying - "adequately chosen for Malta's climate in 2020 and already showing positive results" - will continue past October, meaning that road users are yet to see further road closures of both sides of Mdina road and beyond to complete the laying of the remaining two layers of asphalt.

"We ask the cooperation from all road users," said Borg in reply to questions from journalist who pointed out that the yet-to-be finished central link project could cause chaos on Maltese roads seeing as schools will be opening soon and thus before the works are to be complete.

"Challenges with road traffic will always be there," he stated.

The Central Link Project is a €55 million investment to reduce travel times, accident risks and congestion pollution along the principal arterial road corridor in central Malta, whilst creating safer spaces for alternative modes of travel in this part of Mriehel, Birkirkara, Balzan, Attard and Ta’ Qali.

The construction of most of the project’s bi-directional track for cyclists and pedestrians, the longest of its kind in Malta, will be ready in the coming weeks as well. It includes a 4.3-kilometre path separated from car lanes with trees, shrubs and other forms of lane segregation, providing a pleasant, safer alternative transport connection in this region.

Central Link Project also includes 10 kilometres of new or rebuilt footpaths and several new bus lay-bys. Beneath the new roads, Infrastructure Malta laid tens of kilometres of new underground networks, including sewers, water mains, electricity cables and Internet and other telecommunication ducts. The new roads also include a complex network of stormwater catchments and pipelines connected to reservoirs and the national flood relief tunnel network.

The installation of irrigation systems and the planting of over 580 new trees in the 24,000 square metres of new landscaped areas of this project will also gather pace in September. Infrastructure Malta also built underground reservoirs equipped with hydrodynamic separators to filter and harvest rainwater for the irrigation of these new green areas.

Central Link Project is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund of the European Union.

In the meantime, Infrastructure Malta is currently also building a new roundabout underpass connecting L-Imdina Road and the Mriehel Bypass, next to the Malta Financial Services Authority offices, at the edge of the Central Link Project route.

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