Marsa Junction Project reaches halfway mark
Infrastructure Malta has completed half of the Marsa Junction Project, as it aims to open the third flyover structure of this investment by the end of the year, one month ahead of schedule.
Following the opening of the first two flyover structures in September, the implementation of this EU-funded project continued advancing rapidly. Weather permitting, the third flyover, the longest of its kind in Malta, will be ready within a few weeks, in December. Originally, it was scheduled to be completed by the end of January 2020, along with the fourth flyover. Another two flyover structures of this project will be opened to road users in March and the last one will be ready by June.
As soon as the third flyover is opened to road users in the coming weeks, Infrastructure Malta would also be able to eliminate and dismantle the existing Addolorata traffic lights system. This new configuration will continue reducing travel times for over 100,000 road users who travel through this junction every day.
The longest flyover structure of the project will create a direct connection between Aldo Moro Road and Santa Lucija Avenue. Its deck will include 65 concrete prestressed beams forming a 227-metre stretch of two-lane carriageway (twice the length of a football ground). At the Aldo Moro Road side, the flyover will adjoin two of the four lanes of the first flyover, which is already in use. It will rise to a height of 15.9 metres (over four and a half storeys) above another road at ground level.
Some of the beams of this new structure, which are being lifted and set in place on Saturday (9th November 2019), are the longest ones being used in this project. Each of these 14 beams is 31.2 metres long. Twelve of this flyovers’ 16 pillars are ready. Another four are nearing completion. The flyover foundations include 66 concrete piles submerged several metres into the ground.
The fourth flyover, which is planned to be built by end January, is a smaller, 85-metre structure. It is located next to the Addolorata Cemetery parking area and will provide a quicker, uninterrupted route between Santa Lucija Avenue and Qormi (through Local Goverment Road and Marsa Road, by the Turkish Cemetery). The deck of this flyover includes 12 concrete beams supported on three pillars, some of which are already in place. The structure is built on foundations made up of 16 underground piles.
Another two flyovers of this project will be opened to road users by end March. These two interlinked flyovers will connect the southbound carriageway of Aldo Moro Road (Marsa) to Giuseppe Garibaldi Road, towards Luqa, the Kirkop Tunnels and the Airport. This route is temporarily being served by the first two flyovers opened last month, which will be ultimately used as a northbound direct link between these two roads.
The construction of these two flyovers is currently in progress as well. The deck of the northern flyover structure, towards Aldo Moro Road, will include three vehicle lanes. It will have 10 prestressed concrete beams, 30.4 metres each. The other flyover structure, towards Garibaldi Road is 86 metres long. Its curved deck, which is already in place, is made up of 19 steel beams. The deck slab is currently being built on these beams.
These two flyover structures will be supported on seven pillars, built on 48 underground piles. One of the abutment ramps at the two ends of these flyovers is ready, whilst the other one will be built in Aldo Moro Road in the coming months.
The seventh and final flyover will provide a southbound link between Aldo Moro Road and Santa Lucija Avenue. It will include 73 prestressed concrete beams to form a 128-metre deck. At its northern end it will be two lanes wide, before opening up to four lanes, with the two outer lanes linked to exit ramps towards Il-Palma Street, Paola on the left and the Addolorata Cemetery and the new Park and Ride area on the right.
The highest point of this flyover will be nine metres off the ground. It will include 13 pillars and 114 underground piles. An abutment ramp structure will lead the central two lanes of this flyover to the southbound carriageway of Santa Lucija Avenue.
The €70 million Marsa Junction Project includes the development of a new multi-level intersection to replace the Addolorata traffic lights system with 12 kilometres of uninterrupted lanes, grade-separated at three levels, creating direct northbound and southbound connections between the arterial roads merging at this network node. It is ending 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.
This investment is co-financed through the EU’s Cohesion Fund and Connecting Europe Facility.