Valley Road will be completed by the end of the year – Infrastructure Malta

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Infrastructure Malta has told that the road works on Valley Road Balzan should be completed by the end of the year. This was despite residents being told that the works would be completed in September 2018. A year on, the residents of Valley Road Balzan continue to facing problems with drainage, dust, noise and smell.

An IM spokesperson told that the entity is now conducting the second phase of the project in Valley Road, which includes the placement of kilometres of underground cables and piping and the rebuilding of the whole road structure.

They explained that the southern part of the road had been completed. The second phase will see the rebuilding of the northern part from Triq it-Tabib J. Zammit to the Iklin roundabout.

The spokesperson added that there are number of different services operating adjacent and within a cramped space making the works very difficult to carry out.

They explained that the roadworks had been postponed for a number of years because of the practicalities of installing the pipes and cables that need to negotiate other services that cannot be removed before making new ones, they explained.

The trenches need to be dug to a depth of around 2.3 or as low as 5 metres underground, around two floors deep they said.

‘The existing road structure and distribution services are being done following decades without ever undergoing maintenance. Over the years, various entities increased number of underground services in the adjacent street. While works had been carried out by contractors Infrastructure Malta had found cables marked by companies that still provide services long before the project started. Some of the links are so old they don’t even appear in the plans.’

One year later: Sewage, dust and noise in Ħal Balzan

The spokesman said that the cables have to be tested by the respective bodies to determine if there is still need for them to be changed. This process is necessary to ensure that it is safe for workers and to avoid services being cut.

‘In some cases, it is not clear if the cables are for electricity or telecommunications. For these cables to be replaced with others, there is a need to cut more trenches and modify other services that have been planned to go through the same place. As a result, the trench cutting usually takes less time and must be done in smaller stages, to avoid damage to existing infrastructure.’

To minimise inconvenience, the works are being carried out in sections so as to close only part of the road at a time.

The IM spokesperson said that the Local Council and local businesses constantly informed about the works.

‘The architects and technicians at Infrastructure Malta are receiving requests for help, questions and complaints from local residents and we are talking to them about finding solutions that reduce the challenges such an extensive project brings.’