New pedestrian and cycle bridge to link Corradino and Paola
Infrastructure Malta is developing a new bridge at Dom Mintoff Road, formerly known as Corradino Hill, for safer pedestrian, cycling and public transport commutes between Corradino, the MCAST Campus and Paola.
This overpass will reconnect families living in the Corradino residential area with the central part of Paola. It also opens up a new pedestrian and cycling route through the adjacent Mediterranean Gardens to provide a quicker and safer route for thousands of students who walk, cycle or use public transport to get to the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) and to the Mariam Al Batool School further up the hill. The bridge will also improve access to the Corradino Industrial Zone as well as the mosque and the church in the same area. Currently, to reach these locations, pedestrians need to cross several arterial roads, including the Corradino roundabout a few metres away.
Infrastructure Malta’s planners took advantage of variations in ground elevation to circumvent the space limitations of the narrow tree-lined footpaths at the sides of the road and design a structure that fits in with the area’s landscape and building heights, without disrupting existing land uses along this main route to Cottonera and other localities in the south-eastern region of Malta.
The Corradino end of the proposed overpass will rise from a small plot of disused land wedged between Dom Mintoff Road and the service road leading to the main entrance of the MCAST Campus and to the Corradino residential area. The 4-metre wide bridge will extend 20 metres across the road, to the Mediterranean Gardens, which stand at an elevated position several metres above the same thoroughfare. The steel bridge will have gently-sloping ramps for cyclists and pedestrians at both ends. The design of these ramps meets applicable National Commission for Persons with Disability guidelines, so that they can be accessible to all. At the MCAST end, the overpass also has an elevator for increased flexibility.
Infrastructure Malta plans to embellish the areas at the two ends of the bridge, including part of the Mediterranean Gardens. The agency will replace a derelict area within this garden to open up a new pedestrian and cycling pathway that links the overpass with the existing bus laybys in Paola Hill, the road leading to the centre of this locality. It will also include adequate lighting systems and CCTV surveillance on the bridge deck and the rest of the new pathway, to improve its safety at all times. The main bus laybys in the area will be modified for improved connections with the new bridge and pathway as well.
The Planning Authority process to launch public consultation and obtain the necessary development permits is already in progress. This month, Infrastructure Malta also issued a call for offers for the required construction and steel engineering services, so that it can start works on site as soon as possible later this year.
This project is the third pedestrian overpass the agency will be developing in 2019. This summer, it is starting construction of an overpass for cyclists and pedestrians in Aviation Avenue, close to the Institute of Tourism Studies and the Malta International Airport, between Luqa and Gudja. Works to build another pedestrian and cycling overpass connecting Hamrun, Blata l-Bajda and the Floriana Park and Ride facilities will commence soon. Infrastructure Malta is also investing in other new infrastructure for alternative, more sustainable modes of travel as part of the ongoing Marsa Junction Project and the reconstruction of Buqana Road, between Mtarfa and Mosta, Luqa Road, Santa Lucija and Qormi Road, between Qormi and Luqa.
Similar infrastructure is included in the upcoming Central Link Project, Pembroke-St Julian’s Connections project, the new Santa Lucija roundabout tunnels project and the Msida Creek Project. These major arterial road upgrades will include other pedestrian bridges, new bus laybys and kilometres of new cycle lanes and footpath, including Malta’s longest segregated bi-directional cycle track, connecting Mriehel, Birkirkara, Balzan, Attard and Ta’ Qali.