On Tuesday morning, Infrastructure Malta’s contractors started the Central Link Project. In a statement, Infrastructure Malta said that this €55 million investment is intended “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”. This project created considerable controversy since it’s construction meant the removal of hundreds of trees, many of them generations old. The government had later said that some trees would be relocated. The mayor of the locality mainly affected, Attard, also opposed the scheme.
Infrastructure Malta said that the works on this 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. IM said that 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 this important national 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. IM said that this project will halve travel times in this area and drastically reduce congestion pollution in nearby residential areas.