Call for tenders for two tunnels beneath Santa Lucija roundabout

Source: (02/04/2018)

A call for offers has been issued towards the building of two tunnels beneath the Santa Luċija roundabout - a project with an investment of more than €20 million which will be led by the infrastructural agency to be set up by the government in the coming weeks.

The project planning started during the last quarter of 2017 at the request of the Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects to continue easing difficulties in the journeys of Santa Luċija, Tarxien, and Paola residents and thousands of others who pass through the area every day. The investment in this main node of the Maltese road network includes a new design for the roundabout so it becomes safer, as well as the building of two tunnels directly connecting Santa Luċija Avenue to Tal-Barrani Road. This way, when passing from Santa Luċija Avenue to Tal-Barrani Road or vice versa, there won’t be a need to enter the roundabout – instead, one can pass through the tunnels without stopping.

This roundabout is also one of the main access points for Santa Luċija, Tarxien, and Paola. When the new tunnels are completed, residents will find less difficulties when going to or leaving their homes in these localities. The roundabout will be designed with the aim of reducing the risk of accidents while being used less frequently.

The call for offers issued in the last few days includes the digging out of two tunnels with two lanes each - each more than 100 metres long. Above these tunnels, the existing roundabout will be rebuilt with improved access for adjoining localities. The project also includes the changing and strengthening of several distribution services regarding water, electricity, and telecommunications currently underground in these roads.

The call for offers for these works closes in the coming weeks. The project will be led by the new agency which the Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects is setting up in the coming weeks. The agency will have the responsibility of implementing the government’s commitment to push forward the great leap in road infrastructure quality and transport in our country and will implement large-scale projects - such as this one - to mitigate travelling difficulties in main roads. At the same time, it will focus on the repairs, maintenance, and rebuilding of residential roads in Malta and Gozo. Among these is the rebuilding of around 160 roads that, despite housing hundreds of residents, have never been built or given tarmac as necessary.

Minister Ian Borg explained that the building of the Santa Luċija tunnels is another development in the government’s long-term plan for better transport in the country. “When I was given the responsibility for the government’s investment towards better roads, I made it clear that everything we do needs to be implemented as part of a long-term plan with measures of different levels and sizes which fully complement each other. I made a request to review projects which were already planned or being implemented and to see how these would affect nearby areas. Among others, we studied the Kappara junction project and the Marsa junction project and we identified several solutions which could lead to more benefits gained from these investments”.

“In fact, we immediately initiated planning towards the project which would widen the Marsa- Ħamrun by-pass - a €5 million investment which started being implemented last month, as well as the Santa Venera tunnels project. These projects will continue to improve the efficiency and safety of one of the main routes between the North, Centre, and South of the country; roads which see tens of thousands of commuters every day. We will continue striving to achieve more sustainable modes of transport which are more efficient as well as safer, as Malta and Gozo truly deserve”.