370 underground concrete pillars installed underneath Triq Għeriexem, Rabat

In Rabat, a road which is being rebuilt from scratch is taking shape with the installation of stronger foundations. Apart from space for vehicles, Triq Għeriexem will also include a belvedere where the public can stop to enjoy the view of the valley while walking a long the route which takes you from Imtarfa to Mdina.

After studies confirmed that the road was built on layers of rocks which were cracked and on clay, with the risk that the road and other buildings on it could collapse, a part of the project has involved the installation of 370 pillars of concrete, several metres below ground.

Nine months of work have led to a new structure for Triq Għeriexem which is located on the outskirts of Rabat. At the moment the pavement for the walking lanes is being put into place.

On the other side of the road, where there are the houses, contractors from Infrastructure Malta began installing 270 concrete pillars to avoid damage to the road and to the buildings due to the fact that they are built on clay. When this work is finished, underground services for the residents will be put into place, and the carriageway with two lanes will be rebuilt. The CEO of Infrastructure Malta, Fredrick Azzopardi, explained that this project which will cost €4 million, was urgently needed.

“We could not wait any more. The road was sinking and the drainage system where the road collapsed was not working properly, so sewage was ending up in the valley. So while our main aim was to improve this area, we will also have the possibility of enjoying the views, while culverts will be passed through for the utility services.”

Over the last few months the part which overlooks the valley has seen the placing of more than 100 concrete and steel pillars  around five storeys below ground. The pillars were joined together by a long concrete beam.

Similar work, but at an even greater depth, is being carried in one of the main roads in Mtarfa. The road which starts from the bypass and overlooks Ta’ Qali is being rebuilt. The foundations are being strengthened with  160 pillars, three storeys below ground.

Asked what the agency was doing to ensure that the work on these projects is of the highest quality, Azzopardi said that the specifications for contractors in the call for tenders, to which they are bound, have been updated.

“We have shown that where the work was done poorly, for example near the Marsa-Hamrun Bypass, the contractor was forced to dig everything up and do the work again,  not once but twice. Even now, the work which does not reach the required standards will have to be re-done. I can mention a case of a road in Mosta which is going to be dug up again because it did non reach the necessary standards.”

This work is near part of Triq Durumblat, which is being carried out in different phases because of the length of the road.