The Malta Independent 17 July 2024, Wednesday
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Chamber of Architects expects Infrastructure Malta to ‘seriously consider’ Msida Creek proposal

Isaac Saliba Friday, 5 July 2024, 13:27 Last update: about 12 days ago

The President of the Chamber of Architects told The Malta Independent that its expectation is that Infrastructure Malta 'seriously considers' the Chamber's Msida Creek proposal.

Andre Pizzuto, the President of Malta's Chamber of Architects and Civil Engineers, was referring to the Chamber's proposal, which was drafted in collaboration with Periti Studio and designprinciple, to alter plans for Infrastructure Malta's Msida Creek project.

Infrastructure Malta's (IM) plans, as they stand, would see a flyover be constructed in the area with the intention of replacing the current junctions. IM had closed the call for tenders earlier this year in February.

The Chamber's proposal foregoes plans of a flyover and instead focuses on establishing a greater green space of 20,000 square metres in the core of Msida. This would be done with the intention of accommodating other modes of transport, which Pizzuto said would enhance the quality of life for residents and align with European sustainability policies. Among other things, when the Chambers plans were announced it was said that it also envisages the creation of two-way dedicated bus lanes throughout; a dedicated bus lane from Msida to University skatepark; and uninterrupted two-way single carriageway for private vehicles in Msida with traffic lights only for pedestrian crossings.

In an earlier statement, the Chamber had said that IM's intention to construct a flyover and increase the junction's capacity of over 4,500 vehicles per hour was in radical contrast to the international trend of removing motorways from city centres in initiatives to improve public spaces and health.

"The expectation is that they seriously consider our proposal," Pizzuto told The Malta Independent on Friday when asked about it.

Pizzuto said that he believes the Chamber's proposal is advantageous to the government's political direction. He added that after presenting its proposal, the Chamber received a strong positive reaction from local Msida residents as well as the general public and other NGOs. "I think it would be disappointing if this does not happen," he remarked.

"This project gives some hope that things can be done differently," he said. "People shouldn't give up." He continued that those in favour of such a change should continue speaking out so that attention remains on the issue.

The Chamber's President said that their last meeting with Infrastructure Malta was a week ago and that another meeting is expected, but that he has not heard anything as of yet. He continued that he would like to have another meeting with IM to get a better idea of where things stand. "As it stands we do not know when the next meeting will occur."

"Sincerely, it is difficult to say if changes will happen. When we met it had just been revealed to the public, and I don't think they were in a position to say yes or no."

After last week's meeting, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Chris Bonett said that although the proposals were visually pleasing, they had raised a number of questions for him when it came to traffic management. He had also questioned whether he had the freedom, at this stage of the process, to enact changes to the project as a contract had been signed following the issue of a public tender.

Pizzuto concluded by saying that as of now it is not clear what will happen and what will not, "it's all up in the air".

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