Infrastructure Malta completed the widening of Vjal l-Avjazzjoni, between Gudja and Luqa, introducing a third lane and a cycle lane in the northbound direction.
This €500,000 project was launched in summer and the new third lane in the northbound carriageway was opened to road users last month. This lane links up with the roundabout bypass lane built last year, allowing road users to travel from the Kirkop tunnels towards Luqa without crossing the Airport roundabout or merging into other lanes. Traffic count studies carried out earlier this month show that the new lane has cut travel time from the Kirkop tunnels to Luqa by 73.3% during the morning rush hour.
Vjal l-Avjazzjoni is the main road link used by thousands of residents in Safi, Kirkop, Mqabba, Qrendi and Zurrieq, when travelling to and from their homes every day. Along with the upgrading of the Airport and Luqa roundabouts last year, the new third lane provides road users commuting from these localities with an uninterrupted route from the Kirkop tunnels all the way to Luqa, Paola, Marsa, Qormi, Valletta and other areas in the same directions.
At the other end of Vjal l-Avjazzjoni, this road upgrade introduces a new approach lane to the Luqa roundabout junction connecting it to Triq San Tumas, towards Qormi, the Luqa centre and Triq il-Kunsill tal-Ewropa, towards Santa Lucija and Paola. The new roundabout alignment also includes a dedicated lane from Vjal l-Avjazzjoni towards Qormi.
Further technical studies are being carried out to design solutions for additional upgrades to this roundabout through a separate project. This future investment is required to improve air quality in nearby residential areas, including Luqa, Qormi and Gudja, and to develop safer, more efficient connections to other localities in this south-western region of the country.
The Vjal l-Avjazzjoni project completed a few days ago also includes a new 650-metre cycle lane, a new pavement and improved bus lay bys. Last month, Infrastructure Malta issued a call for tenders for the building of a new 34-metre bridge over the two carriageways of this road, to facilitate pedestrian, public transport and cycling commutes to and from several localities around Gudja.
The proposed pedestrian and bicycle overpass will include two seven-metre high support structures including helical concrete access ramps that lead pedestrians and cyclists up to the gently-sloped bridge deck, extending over Vjal l-Avjazzjoni’s dual carriageway, an adjacent service road as well as additional space for future road infrastructure. Besides using ramps instead of stairways, the bridge structure will also include two elevators, as recommended by the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability to ensure that this infrastructure is accessible to everyone.
The upgrading of Vjal l-Avjazzjoni forms part of a series of projects implemented by Infrastructure Malta in summer 2018, to improve the efficiency, safety and quality of the country’s arterial road network. These investments include, amongst others, the widening and rebuilding of the Marsa Hamrun Bypass, Triq Dicembru 13 and Triq Aldo Moro, the upgrading of the two main roundabouts at Zebbug and Triq l-Imdina Zebbug, which links them together, a new improved exit from Ta’ Qali to Rabat and the development of a new approach lane to the Triq tal-Barrani junction with Triq Tarxien, towards Gudja and Ghaxaq.