Upgrading Marsa Hamrun Bypass connections with nearby areas
Infrastructure Malta is starting a €2.25 million project to improve the connections of the Marsa-Hamrun Bypass with nearby localities, including Birkirkara, Santa Venera, Hal Qormi, Hamrun and Marsa.
The Marsa-Hamrun Bypass brings together several arterial routes of the European Union’s Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) in Malta. This new project will augment the benefits of last year’s €5 million investment to reconstruct and widen this road.
A new slip road and an exit ramp will give commuters a more efficient alternative to existing routes through nearby streets, shifting through traffic from residential areas to the arterial road network. This will not only help to cut journey times but will also reduce accident risks and vehicle pollution in several nearby residential zones.
Works started a few days ago and will extend from Il-Kanun (Cannon) Road, Santa Venera, along the southbound carriageway of the Bypass, to the multi-level roundabout and flyover junction connecting it to Hal Qormi Road, Qormi (near the Maltapost offices). Infrastructure Malta scheduled this project to commence soon after the completion of the upgrade of Hal Qormi Road, which was widened to four lanes with new footpaths for increased pedestrian safety earlier this year.
Through the new project, an existing, disused road next to the Bypass will be rebuilt and extended to connect Il-Kanun Road, in Santa Venera, with the southbound carriageway of the Marsa-Hamrun Bypass. This slip road will introduce a quicker connection from Qormi, Birkirkara, Hamrun, and Santa Venera towards Valletta and the south of Malta. It will also provide an alternative to the existing route through the roundabout beneath the Mriehel Bypass flyover, at Qormi. As a result, the new connection will also have a positive impact on travelling times through this roundabout and the southern end of the Mriehel Bypass.
The other part of this project includes the addition of a second approach lane at the slip road connecting the Marsa-Hamrun Bypass to the Hal Qormi Road roundabout and flyover junction, facilitating access to Hal Qormi Road and to the centre of Hamrun. This additional lane will improve travelling times to and from all routes merging at this roundabout.
To link the two new connections, Infrastructure Malta is also opening a fourth southbound lane along the Marsa-Hamrun Bypass. This lane was built when the road was reconstructed last year.
The new links will be developed within existing road spaces and nearby disturbed sites, opening up over 600 metres of additional lanes to the existing network. Infrastructure Malta is also incorporating a new pavement along the Marsa Hamrun Bypass slip road towards Hamrun and Qormi, for safer pedestrian access to these localities.
The project also includes the extension of a walk-through culvert that was built as part of the road’s reconstruction in 2018. This tunnel houses high voltage cables forming part of the national electricity grid. Through this 800-metre walk-through culvert, any repairs or maintenance works to the electricity cables within can be carried out without the need to dig up the road. Infrastructure Malta will also lay new underground cable ducts to reinforce the networks providing Internet and other telecommunication services in the area.
Last year, the agency rebuilt and widened the Marsa-Hamrun Bypass to a six-lane road to improve the safety and efficiency of the junctions and slip roads connected to it, eliminating several bottlenecks that caused delays to road users travelling along this south-central route. The project led to a 42% reduction in travel times along this route, whilst improving the area’s air quality by decreasing congestion emissions. The addition of the new access road and the widening of the slip road included in the second upgrade launched this week will continue to extend these benefits to road users and nearby residents.
Hal Qormi Road project
In another recently-completed project in the same area, Infrastructure Malta widened Hal Qormi Road to four lanes and installed a safer system of concrete crash barriers, to reduce the risk of cross-median collisions and other accident consequences. The new road design improves the approach and exit lanes linking it to the two roundabout junctions at its ends. The agency’s contractors rebuilt the road’s pavements and added a new one in an area that did not previously have a safe pedestrian access. Overhead electricity, Internet and telecommunication wires in this road were replaced with underground cables.
This €1 million investment also included a new roundabout in It-Tigrija Street, to improve access to the adjacent bus terminus and park and ride facilities.