35% of Marsa Junction Project is ready
Infrastructure Malta completed 35% of the €70-million Marsa Junction Project as the first two flyover structures are nearing completion, whilst works on the other five is advancing rapidly.
The first two of the seven flyover structures included in this EU-funded project will be open to road users towards the end of September. They will connect the northbound carriageway of Triq Giuseppe Garibaldi with Triq Aldo Moro. However, it will be initially used in the opposite direction, from Triq Aldo Moro towards Luqa and the Airport. This will decrease some of the vehicular volume from the existing southbound lanes at ground level, so that some of them can be closed to continue the rest of the project works.
As from tomorrow (Tuesday 27th August), road users will start noticing changes to the existing configuration of the northbound lanes connecting the Addolorata traffic lights junction to Triq Aldo Moro. Infrastructure Malta is shifting these lanes sideways so that workers can continue laying the concrete decks of the second flyover above them. This safety precaution is required to avoid the risk of objects falling on open lanes. As soon as a stretch of the deck is ready, the lanes are altered again to continue working on the next section, until this 263-metre flyover structure is completed.
Before introducing lane changes, Infrastructure Malta is modelling and testing each configuration using accurate traffic flow software. Different options are examined to identify diversions with the least possible impact on over 110,000 persons who travel through this area every day.
During a media briefing, Ing. Fredrick Azzopardi, Infrastructure Malta’s CEO, urged road users to observe the reduced speed limits applicable for road works areas and to follow the yellow temporary lane markings and roadside signs, to reduce accident risks and avoidable delays.
Infrastructure Malta is collaborating with the Police and with Transport Malta to provide additional assistance to road users. Traffic police and Transport Malta officers are stationed in the area to monitor the roads leading to the Addolorata junction and to take immediate action in case of difficulties. Drivers can also call Transport Malta’s support line 80073399 to request the emergency breakdown towing service available in this area.
The first two phases of the project, including the reconstruction of Triq Aldo Moro and other nearby roads, were ready in 2018. Last December, Infrastructure Malta started the third phase, focusing on the construction of the flyovers.
The superstructures and the four-lane deck of the first flyover structure is nearing completion. Infrastructure Malta’s contractors have already set this flyover’s 56 prestressed concrete beams and cast its deck. Each beam is 26 metres long and weighs over 36 tonnes. The steel beams forming the curved superstructure of the second flyover were fabricated in Turkey and shipped to the Grand Harbour in recent weeks. Workers are now lifting and setting these beams on the flyover’s pillars. Seven of them are the longest ones in this project, ranging between 106 and 135 metres and weighing over 85 tonnes each.
At the same time, other road workers are building and backfilling the two ramps that will connect the ends of the two interconnected flyover structures to Triq Aldo Moro and Triq Giuseppe Garibaldi. The northbound carriageway of Triq Garibaldi will reopen on Monday afternoon (26th August), after it was closed for a few weeks whilst the second flyover’s abutment and ramp walls were being built. In this area, the contractors also rerouted and upgraded several underground water, electricity and telecommunication networks.
The construction of the other five flyovers is in progress as well. Over 20 of the 42 pillars and abutments required for this project are ready. The steel superstructure of the third flyover will start taking shape in September as well.
Beneath the flyovers, Infrastructure Malta is laying 15 kilometres of underground electricity, water, sewage, Internet and telecommunications services cables and duct routes. A storm water system, including a new reservoir, is also under construction. Rainwater from the reservoir will be used to water the new trees and the landscaped areas that the agency is preparing to embellish the Marsa Junction Project site.
Infrastructure Malta’s projects team is constantly reviewing and optimising the contractors’ implementation plans to make sure that all works are completed in the shortest time possible, without compromising on safety and quality. The contractors are working on site seven days a week, where necessary even at night.
The Marsa Junction Project includes the development of a new multi-level intersection to replace the Addolorata traffic lights system with 12 kilometres of new uninterrupted lanes, grade-separated at three levels, creating direct northbound and southbound connections between Triq Aldo Moro, Vjal Sir Paul Boffa, Vjal Santa Lucija, Triq Giuseppe Garibaldi and Triq il-Marsa (to Qormi). It is eliminating traffic lights waiting times along this principal route to southern Malta, whilst reducing congestion emissions in Marsa and other nearby localities. It also introduces new 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, new landscaped areas and other new infrastructure.
The Marsa Junction Project is co-financed through the EU’s Cohesion Fund and Connecting Europe Facility.