As part of the €55 million infrastructural investment in the Central Link Project, more than 300 additional trees will be planted, doubling the current amount in the area to more than 600. Ongoing discussions between technical experts, architects and representatives from the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA), the Directorate for Parks, Afforestation and Countryside Restoration (PARKs) and the Malta Embellishment and Landscaping Project (MELP) have minimised the impact on trees significantly. After due consideration, it was determined that the amount of trees to be considered for uprooting is of 15 Pinus Helapensis trees. In evaluating applications for plans involving the uprooting of trees, the ERA takes all reasonable measures to safeguard as many trees as possible. Consideration has also been taken by means of having technical experts closely evaluating various road safety aspects and continuously working to ensure that maximum safety is provided for our road users.
As is the case with all other road projects that are being implemented, the Central Link Project seeks to address the traffic and congestion problems being faced by commuters and residents whilst upgrading road infrastructure.
The Central Link Project will improve the entire route starting from the Mrieħel bypass in the direction of Birkirkara, Balzan and Attard, through to the Saqqajja hill roundabout, which connects Ta’ Qali, Attard, Rabat, Żebbuġ and Mosta. This project will redesign 13 junctions and will widen one-lane bottlenecks along the arterial link. It is not only aimed to improve travelling times, but will also reduce vehicle emissions by 13.5%. The Central Link Project will improve and create 7.4 kilometres of new lanes and will introduce 19,300 square metres of landscaped areas with trees and shrubs, 2 kilometres of cycle lanes, 10.7 kilometres of pedestrian passageways and facilities, and a grade-separated overpass for pedestrians and cyclists.
The Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects and the Ministry for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change will remain committed towards environmental aspects throughout the implementation of nationally important projects such as the Central Link Project.