Infrastructure Malta opened the new bridge for pedestrians and cyclists connecting Corradino and the MCAST Campus with the centre of Paola.
Il-Pont tal-Għaqda (Unity Bridge) spans 25 metres over Dom Mintoff Road, formerly known as Corradino Hill. It is reconnecting families living in the Corradino residential area with the central part of Paola. Without this €1.6 million overpass, pedestrians, bus commuters and cyclists had to cross arterial roads and walk on narrow footpaths with limited accessibility, alongside moving traffic, to reach this area.
The new bridge also opens 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 is improving access to the Corradino Industrial Zone and to the mosque and the church in the same area as well.
The access ramp at the Corradino end of the overpass rises from a small pocket of previously disused land between Dom Mintoff Road and Corradino Street, opposite the MCAST Campus. The bridge spans across the road to the Mediterranean Gardens, located at an elevated position several metres above the same thoroughfare.
Infrastructure Malta’s planning team designed the bridge’s 3.5-metre wide deck and its ramps to be comfortable and accessible to all road users. At the Corradino side, the bridge also has a lift. As part of this project, the agency also formed a new pedestrian and cycling path in the Mediterranean Gardens area. This passageway links the bridge to the existing bus laybys in Paola Hill, the road leading to the centre of this locality. The bridge and the new path will include lighting systems and surveillance cameras to ensure the safety and security of commuters.
The project contractors started building the bridge abutment structures and access ramps over the road’s high boundary walls earlier this year whilst a team of welders fabricated the steel superstructure in a workshop in Italy. The contractors transported this 16-tonne bridge to Dom Mintoff Road and lifted it in place last summer. They then completed the final works, including electrical installations, railings and other equipment for increased safety and accessibility. Along the pathways leading to the bridge Infrastructure Malta planted 151 indigenous trees and 65 shrubs.
This €1.6 million project is the third bridge for pedestrians, bus passengers and cyclists that the agency is adding to the Maltese road network in 2020, following the opening of a similar structure in L-Avjazzjoni Avenue, Luqa in June, and another one in San Gorg Preca Road, Blata l-Bajda, a month later. Another three similar segregated crossings will soon be ready as part of the Marsa Junction Project and other ongoing investments.
Infrastructure Malta is committed to continue investing in safer transport infrastructure that encourages more road users to choose walking, bus and ferry commuting, cycling and other alternative, more sustainable, modes of travel.