Central Link Project work underway with excavations along route

Work on the €55 million Central Link Project got underway today with excavations for the foundations of the new lanes, footpaths, bus lay-bys and cycle tracks that will be built from the Mriehel Bypass to the roundabout at the foot of Saqqajja Hill


This morning, Infrastructure Malta’s contractors started the Central Link Project, a €55 million investment to reduce travel times, improve air quality and create safer spaces for alternative modes of travel along the arterial road corridor between Mriehel and Ta’ Qali.

Works on this long-awaited upgrade are starting after the project plans were approved by the Planning Authority and reviewed by the European Commission in 2019.

Last November, these plans were also reconfirmed by the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal, which rejected a request by NGOs and seven individuals to revoke the project’s permits. A few days ago, the Civil Court’s First Hall also refused a request for a prohibitory injunction made by the same groups and reaffirmed that Infrastructure Malta can start implementing the project immediately.     

The Central Link Project is based on plans included in the 2006 Central Malta Local Plan, which had already indicated congestion along L-Imdina Road, In-Nutar Zarb Road and other nearby roads as a major problem for Attard and nearby localities.

Infrastructure Malta optimised these 2006 plans to augment long-term efficiency and sustainability, to mitigate adverse impacts on adjacent lands and to add new infrastructure for bus passengers, pedestrians and cyclists, which are currently almost inexistent along this route.

The National Transport Master Plan 2025 also lists the L-Imdina Road and In-Nutar Zarb Road corridor as the 12th of 29 priority sections of the EU’s TEN-T network in Malta that need to be urgently upgraded for increased safety and efficiency.

This project will halve travel times in this area and drastically reduce congestion pollution in nearby residential areas by reconstructing 13 junctions, removing four traffic lights systems and adding over seven kilometres of new lanes along a 4.3 kilometre road corridor.

It also introduces many facilities for alternative modes of travel, including over 10 kilometres of safe pedestrian footpaths and segregated crossings, bus lay-bys and the longest segregated cycle track in the Maltese Islands, connecting Mriehel, Birkirkara, Balzan, Attard and Ta’ Qali.

Infrastructure Malta will also develop over 24,000 square metres of new green landscaped areas along the project route.    

Initial works starting this week include the excavations for the foundations of the new lanes, footpaths, bus lay-bys and cycle tracks that will be built along the project route, which extends from the Mriehel Bypass, along L-Imdina Road, through Birkirkara, Balzan and Attard, to the roundabout at the foot of Saqqajja Hill, at Ta’ Qali.

Infrastructure Malta is coordinating the works in different phases to minimise difficulties to over 30,000 road users who use this part of the network every day, and to nearby residents in Birkirkara, Balzan and Attard.

During this initial stage of the project, all existing lanes will remain open. The agency’s projects team will communicate any works necessitating lane closures to road users in advance and will make sure that such disruptions are scheduled to off peak hours, with adequate diversions and alternative routes.

More in Business