Planning a safety upgrade for Mriehel Bypass
Infrastructure Malta refers to a press conference by a local NGO and some Mriehel landowners on Saturday 19th December 2020.
The planned safety upgrade, which is still in initial design stages, involves the construction of a flyover at the junction between the Mriehel Bypass (Royal Malta Artillery Avenue) and In-Negozju Street, an accident black spot that has been calling for improvement for many years. This upgrade will not widen the Bypass, which will remain with two lanes in each direction, as it is now. However, additional land along the sides of this road is required for the flyover that will eliminate the existing accident black spot, where vehicles are currently forced to make a sharp turn against oncoming traffic to reach Mriehel through In-Negozju Street. This T-junction has been the site of several fatal collisions since the Bypass was built in the 1990s. Additional land is also required for a new cycle lane and footpath along the same Bypass, which does not currently have any facilities for alternative modes of travel.
This safety upgrade is specified in the National Transport Master Plan Malta 2025, which ranks it as the eighth most important arterial road upgrade required to ensure the safety and efficiency of the TEN-T (Trans-European Transport Network - Core and Comprehensive) in Malta, as required by Regulation (EU) 1315/2013. This road’s junction safety is also highlighted as a principal point of concern in the 2006 Central Malta Local Plan. The Plan identifies safety upgrades to the Mriehel Bypass as one of the area’s policy priorities: “MEPA will support and encourage the ADT and other bodies to undertake works and measures to control parking, remove safety hazards and regulate movements along the Mriehel By-pass.”
The agency clarifies that this junction safety upgrade in the Mriehel Bypass is still in its initial planning stages and that there was no attempt to implement it by stealth, as alleged during Saturday’s press conference. In fact, the tenants who addressed the press conference found out about this proposed upgrade after they were contacted by Infrastructure Malta to launch initial stakeholder consultations required to finalise the project designs with the least possible adverse impacts in the area. The landowners who addressed the press conference were invited to two meetings with Infrastructure Malta as part of this planning process and they were given a copy of the preliminary plans. Once the project plans are discussed with all stakeholders, including the applicable environmental and planning authorities, the final plans that will be put forward for the Planning Authority’s decision will also be made available to the public for consultation as per applicable procedure for all new developments.
More details about this project will b announced with the project plans are finalised.