New underpass part of Marsa junction project for safer cycling and walking

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Infrastructure Malta and the Bicycle Advocacy Group announced they are working together to improve the safety and effectiveness of new cycling infrastructure included in ongoing and upcoming road projects.

In a joint statement, Infrastructure Malta and Bicycle Advocacy Group said that through this consultation, Infrastructure Malta is adding a new underpass to the Marsa Junction Project, to facilitate pedestrian and cycling commutes from Tarxien, Paola and Santa Lucija towards Marsa and Qormi, and vice versa.

Also, the new 10-metre long tunnel will be opened to cyclists and pedestrians by the end of the year, along with over one kilometre of new cycle lanes that are currently being built as part of the same project.

Infrastructure Malta explained how the Marsa Junction Project includes the redevelopment of the busiest junction of the Maltese road network, along the principal arterial TEN-T network route to southern Malta. It also includes a new seven-flyover intersection to eliminate this junction’s old traffic lights and reduce travel times and congestion pollution along this route, creating new footpaths and pedestrian bridges, bus lanes, eight bus lay-bys, two park and ride areas and segregated cycling tracks. The project is estimated to cost €70 million and it is an EU-funded investment.

Through segregated cycling tracks and shared pedestrian and cycling paths, Infrastructure Malta said the project will create a safe cycling route from Paola towards the Marsa Sports Grounds area of Marsa, and on towards the racecourse and bus interchange area of Qormi.

This route will be extended southwards to Santa Lucija and Tarxien through another 1.8 kilometres of shared pedestrian and cycling paths that Infrastructure Malta is developing through other projects, including the recently completed reconstruction of Hal Luqa Road, Santa Lucija, and the Santa Lucija Roundabout Underpass Project. 

During meetings with the Marsa Junction Project team, the Bicycle Advocacy Group highlighted the importance of this route and pointed out that the planned pedestrian bridge over one of the new roads of this project was not a convenient road crossing for cyclists.

The group said that after reviewing the project designs, Infrastructure Malta proposed the replacement of the bridge with a 10-metre long, 5-metre wide underpass with a clear line of sight to ensure the safety and security of cyclists and pedestrians.

This solution will allow cyclists to travel through the new Marsa Junction area along an uninterrupted path without having to dismount their bicycles to enter enclosed bridge elevators.

The Marsa Junction Project is co-financed through the EU’s Cohesion Fund and Connecting Europe Facility.