The PM Joseph Muscat last night inaugurated the Kappara junction project. The work was completed in two years at an investment of more than 23 million Euro.
After years when the traffic between Valletta, San Gwann, Gzira and St Julians’s used get stuck in a bottleneck at the same roundabout, the situation is now completely different. The traffic from the north to the south of Malta and vice-versa is now flowing smoothly using the new flyover, while access to the areas located on the side of the bridge is possible either from under the flyover or by going around the roundabout.
In December 2015, a consortium with Spanish interests was awarded a contract of more than €23 million to build the Kappara flyover in a period of two years, and carry out the roadworks in the surrounding areas from where 90,000 vehicles pass daily.
The work began in April 2015 when palm trees on the roundabout were uprooted and taken to the Armed Forces barracks in Luqa. The work then started in earnest. After summer, the workers began laying down the specially built infrastructural services while in November, the columns for the steel beams for the flyover were put into place. These beams, along with the foundations for the flyover, were built in Spain, and weighed a total of 530 tonnes, with the largest one measuring 32 metres. The placement of the beams required a co-ordinated operation, including the closure of roads to traffic during the night in order to transport the beams from Marsa to Kappara.
The flyover really started to take shape on the morning of 20 April 2017, when the steel beams started to be put into place, and were then covered by stone slabs before the concrete was poured. Three months later, the first vehicles took their first drive over the bridge as one of the lanes was officially opened. The other lane leading to St Julian’s was opened in September.
The project also involved the widening of parts of the road to create slipways for vehicles heading towards the roundabout which is underneath the bridges so that one can go either to or from San Gwann and Gzira. Two kilometers of crash barriers with a protective strip for motorcycles were put into place, and more than two more kilometers of crash barriers were added which can withstand high-impact crashes to avoid any vehicle from falling over the bridge in the case of an accident.
On the bridge, sound barriers to reduce the noise from passing vehicles were also installed – the first of their kind in Malta. The final phase of the project involved fixing the wall in the slip road which leads from San Gwann to St Julian’s.
A large part of the financing for this project came from EU funds.
UPDATED (3): PM says road works need to have same high standards as Kappara project