Telgha t’Alla u Ommu road-widening ‘runs through’ Victoria Lines

The works will widen part of the existing road from 4.6 metres to 8.8 metres to introduce another traffic lane 

Victoria Lines marked in light blue.  Extent of road extension marked in black
Victoria Lines marked in light blue. Extent of road extension marked in black

Road widening works at Telgha t’Alla u Ommu which started on Tuesday were approved in February after eight years of planning limbo prolonged by concerns on the area’s archaeological and ecological importance.

The works will widen part of the existing road from 4.6 metres to 8.8 metres to introduce another traffic lane.

In 2011 the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage acknowledged that the works “run through the Victoria Lines” and will take place “in the vicinity of historical fortifications”. The site was also deemed to have “archaeological potential”.

But the Superintendence did not object to the granting of the permit if the works are monitored by an archaeologist and the presentation of a detailed construction method statement.

The development will affect an area of approximately 578sq.m. The Environment Protection Directorate, which has now been replaced by ERA, had expressed concern on the proposed uptake of land, especially in view of the possible spillage into the nearby garigue  environment.

The PA’s internal panel on natural heritage issues had also objected, noting that the proposal would take up and destroy about 300 metres of land in a proposed Area of Ecological Importance (level 2) and Area of High Landscape Value. Although proposed for scheduling, this land was never actually granted protection.

The road, which is one of the principal road links between the northern and central parts of Malta, linking St Paul’s Bay, Maghtab and Burmarrad to Mosta and the Birguma area of Naxxar, currently poses difficulties to road users, as they are forced to merge into one lane before the Birguma roundabout.

The project will be widening this narrow part of the carriageway to open up the second lane and improve its approach to the roundabout.

The upgrade will include construction of the new lane’s foundation, rebuilding the road’s footpaths, walls to accommodate the two-lane alignment and a new asphalt road surface.

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