WATCH: Works being carried out on pedestrian bridge at Marsa Junction Project

Infrastructure Malta has placed the first steel structure into place which will form part of the new pedestrian bridge at Triq Aldo Moro, Marsa.

On Thursday evening, the contractors of the Marsa Junction Project closed the 10 lane road in order to hoist and safely put into the place the first half of the bridge on one of the two towers on the side and the column in the middle.

The bridge is 59 metres long and weighs 70 tonnes. It will provide a quicker and safer connection for those who wish to walk, go by bus or cycle between the areas of the Addolorata cemetery, the Marsa industrial estate and the Marsa Sports Grounds on one side, and Albert Town and the Saliba tal-Marsa on the other side. It will also connect all the new park and ride facilities of the same project with various bus stops in the area, along the public transport route towards many of the towns and villages on the south of the island.

The bridge forms part of a network of pavements, lanes and safe bus stops, biking paths and park and ride facilities which Infrastructure Malta is developing around the seven new flyover structures of this €70 million project, to facilitate a quicker and a safer connection for alternative means of travel between Tarxien, Paola, Santa Lucia, Marsa, Luqa, Qormi and other nearby places.

Right now, another shorter bridge measuring 32 metres is being built which will cross from Vjal Sir Paul Boffa, between Paola and Marsa. The contractors built the large steel structures for the two bridges in Turkey this summer, before bringing them by ship to the Grand Harbour, a short distance away from the project.

At the same time, other workers began building the four towers which will include stairs and lifts leading to the bridge decks. The longest bridge at Triq Aldo Moro required another concrete column to support it, which was placed in the middle between two of the lanes.

A few days ago, the contractors also began placing the first part of the two structures of the bridge at Triq Aldo Moro on the ground, in preparation for the operation carried out on Thursday evening for it to be hoisted into place. The two parts of the bridge deck  are 27 and 32 metres long respectively, These are made from 140 pieces of steel joined together by more than 900 steel bolts.

Meanwhile, the final preparations are almost ready for Infrastructure Malta to open the three other flyover structures of the Marsa Junction Project. The new flyovers include direct connections towards the south from Triq Aldo Moro, Marsa, towards Triq Giuseppe Garibaldi, Luqa, and from Santa Lucia Avenue towards Santa Lucia and Triq tal-Barrani, Tarxien. The three flyover structures which were completed last year and which are being used temporarily on the opposite side in the same direction as the three new ones, will eventually be closed for a few weeks for the final works to be completed so that they can be re-opened in the northbound direction.

Over the next few weeks, Infrastructure Malta will also open seven flyover structures, which were completed last month. This will join the northbound carriageway of Santa Lucia Avenue which is currently closed, towards the Addolorata Cemetery and the park and ride facility, and Triq il-Gvern Lokali in the direction ofl Qormi (where there is the Turkish cemetery).

Santa Lucia Avenue had been closed earlier this year to build the new tunnel underneath the Santa Lucia roundabout, about one kilometre away from the site of the Marsa Junction Project. Infrastructure Malta re-built this road and opened the southbound  carriageway last month. The northbound carriageway will re-open in the next few weeks, together with the new tunnel which will join it with Triq Tal-Barrani.

Around theis new infrastructure, Infrastructure Malta is forming various green zones which are embellished with a lot of new trees and four large artistic works. It is building two large underground reservoirs to store 1.5 million litres of rainwater to water the new green zones. The contractors are also installing around 13 kms of services underground, including pipes for the distribution of water and sewage drains through which electric cables, Internet cables and other telecommunications services will pass through, as well as rainwater drains.