Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg visited the Santa Luċija Underpass and Roundabout Project site, where he announced the completion of Santa Luċija Avenue. This is the arterial road connecting the Marsa Junction to the same underpass and roundabout, and has now been rebuilt with safer design and was widened to include a pedestrian and cycle path forming part of a safe network connecting Paola, Tarxien, Santa Luċija, Luqa, and Marsa.
During the weekend, the southbound two-lane carriageway of Santa Luċija Avenue will be opened, and in the coming weeks, the carriageway in the opposite direction will be opened too. Until the tunnels are complete, this connection will join 4 new ramps which will eventually connect Santa Luċija Avenue to Tal-Barrani through the roundabout that is being rebuilt.
Minister Ian Borg said, “Every day we can see progress on these two major projects which are improving quality of life for thousands of people living, working or travelling two and from the South. Today more than 78%of the Marsa Junction Project is complete and 70% of the Santa Luċija Underpass and Roundabout Project is also ready. On the road, we are opening, on the underpass and roundabout, as well as on the Marsa flyovers we are using for the first-time polymer modified asphalt, which is stronger, longer-lasting and more resistant to changes in temperature. This is another way in which we are ensuring that today’s commitment lasts. We are planning holistically and long-term to see that the fruits of our labour are enjoyed by future generations while witnessing more efficient journeys, fewer congestions and cleaner air immediately.”
The Marsa Junction Project is co-financed through the European Union’s Cohesion Fund and the Connecting Europe Facility. The Santa Luċija Roundabout Underpass Project is also part-financed by the Cohesion Fund.
Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi referred to the importance that the European Union attaches to the improvement of its road network throughout the whole continent. European Funds were allocated to co-finance the €18m expenditure on the Santa Luċija underpass. The livelihood of the Maltese people and connectivity is being enhanced, particularly for those hailing from the southern region of the Maltese islands.
The Santa Luċija underpass project will enhance road safety not only to car drivers but also to cyclists, persons with special needs and those who enjoy walking. The project will contribute to the process to achieve Malta’s environmental targets as it will reduce significantly carbon emissions due to a better flow of traffic in the area.
Parliamentary Secretary Zrinzo Azzopardi also said that continuous work is being undertaken on the programming of expenditure of the €2.25 billion of European Funds in the next seven years. These will surely be spent on projects from which all Maltese citizens will benefit.