“Step by step the largest infrastructural project that we have ever seen on the Maltese roads is taking more shape, nearing the vision that we have for this project. Another important development that continues to give us the energy and determination to proceed with our commitment so that we can deliver the benefits of this work to our people,” said Minister Ian Borg during a visit on the Marsa Junction Project site together with the project team of Infrastructure Malta and the contractor’s team working on this phase of the project.
During this visit, the Minister together with those present walked over the first flyover structure that forms part of this project, whilst they witnessed the work being undertaken where in the last few days the steel beams that will form the curved parts of the flyovers are being put in place.
The Minister explained how these beams that were manufactured in Turkey will eventually be joined together so that they can support a deck of 263 metres in length. The plan is that the laying of such beams will be ready by the end of August. A total of 964 metres of steel beams will be brought and laid for this structure. The steel beams will be joined to the 56 concrete beams that are already in place, whose laying had started some weeks ago. These beams had already formed the first 108 metres of the flyovers which will connect Santa Luċija and Hal Luqa towards Marsa. “Therefore, in 5 weeks, we should be witnessing the first completed deck of these flyovers which by then will have reached a length of 371 metres, with one-third of it having 4 lanes and the rest having 2 lanes. These important steps in the Marsa Junction project, as well as those in the diverse projects we have implemented or are currently implementing on Maltese roads, are the result of intensive work, in many occasions works that are continuing even during the night and during feast days. There is no break for us when we know that the people will benefit from these projects,” explained Minister Borg.
The Minister reminded those present that the Marsa Junction Project is one of the 7 projects that were studied by economist Gordon Cordina, whose studies showed that for every €1 investment in these projects, the country is getting €7 back, together with multiple benefits such as the reduction in waiting times. This translates in more quality time for the people, as well as fewer emissions and thus also improved air quality.
“This means a better quality of life, less congestion, fewer emissions, for thousands of residents living in the South of Malta, for thousands of people that work or study in these localities, for the 120,000 people that use this important connection to travel daily,” said Minister Borg.
“We are committed to continuing working tirelessly in favour of the essential balances that define a better quality of life for the human being – efficient infrastructure, infrastructure for alternative means, a better environment, more time with the family, amongst others. This is why our commitment to improved infrastructure and improved transport systems is made up of different solutions. Our commitment is here to stay, we will continue planning, working and delivering the planned projects because we believe that the people deserve this investment and each locality, each part of the country is important for us,” concluded Minister Ian Borg.
Further information on the works being carried out on the Marsa Junction Project:
The two flyovers on which work is currently being done will join together to create a direct connection towards the North between Giuseppe Garibaldi road and Aldo Moro Road. Eventually, the third flyover structure will join with the first one to form a direct connection between Aldo Moro road and Vjal Santa Luċija.
Before being laid down in place, the parts of the steel beams are being joined together on the project site by 12 workers that are specialised in this type of work, under the supervision of an engineer that has been sent specifically by the factory that is manufacturing the beams. When the parts will be joined, they will form the completed beam which will be lifted and put in place, with the shortest beam weighing 13 tonnes, and the longest beam weighing around 31 tonnes.
The placing of the steel beams being carried out today is a part of the project site that is closed. Given that the rest of the steel beams will be placed in the part of the project that crosses over the underlying roads and that is currently open to traffic, there will be the need to close the roads. However, this work is planned to be carried out towards the end of the week during the night, so that by the next morning the roads will be again open to traffic.
As was the case with the concrete beams that were put in place in the past week, as soon as the steel beams are laid in place, these will be covered with concrete platforms and this will then form the second flyover structure with 2 lanes. After that, they will be asphalted, and they will be completed with crash barriers and lights amongst other equipment, so that by the end of the summer they will be open for traffic, before the commencement of the school calendar.
To date, 189 of 340 concrete pillars that are needed for the 42 columns have already been finished. 20 of the columns have also been finalised. All the columns will go to support the seven flyover structures that will be replacing the traffic lights system at the Addolorata Cemetry junction. A further 120 concrete pillars are also planned for the other structures that make part of the project, such as the pedestrian bridges, walls and water catchment structures.
The concrete beams are being produced in one of the three temporary plants that have been set up at the Malta Shipbuilding and Freedom Press, which lie a few metres away from the project. These 3 plants will also be producing all the concrete structures needed for the project as well as the asphalt needed for the new roads forming part of the Marsa Junction Project.