[WATCH] Abela inaugurates Marsa Junction: ‘We stepped on the gas even during the pandemic’

€70 million EU-funded project completed and opened to the public last November, but has since been undergoing finishing touches

LIVE | Inawgurazzjoni tal-Proġett tal-Marsa Junction

LIVE | Inawgurazzjoni tal-Proġett tal-Marsa Junction

Posted by MaltaGov on Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Marsa Junction Project has officially been inaugurated by Prime Minister Robert Abela, marking the completion of the three-year mega-project.

In a ceremony on Thursday, Abela was joined by Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg, EU Funds Parliamentary Secretary Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, and Infrastructure Malta CEO Frederick Azzopardi, to celebrate the complete the inauguration of the project.

The project saw a total investment of €70 million, of which €52 million was co-financed using EU funds.

The junction fully opened to the public last November, but finishing touches were recently finalised and paved the way for Thursday's inauguration.

Frederick Azzopardi described it as "the biggest investment on Malta's roads", and noted how a new type of asphalt was used for the first time on this project.

He added that the project eliminated waiting time at the traffic lights, which have since been removed to make way for the junction. Azzopardi said that the project reduced 80% of traffic time for more than 100,000 commuters.

Ian Borg celebrated the project for accommodating alternative modes of transport, in particular those who make use of public transport options.

"This project thinks, above all, about those who choose to travel with public transport. Every society should aim and work to have efficient public transport," he said.

"Not only did we work to make public transport more efficient, but we have a government and Prime Minister that is committed to have public transport offered for free."

The project also provides 3.5km of cycle lanes and walkways.

On the other hand, Robert Abela said that the project is a show of perseverance, where in spite of the pandemic government pushed ahead with the completion of the project.

"In a moment where our country and the whole world faced a pandemic, we didn't stop investing in our country. Instead of putting our foot on the brake, we put it on the gas pedal, and with clear and focused direction we said that what has to be done, must be done," the Prime Minister said.

Government had inaugurated the opening of the first flyover of the Marsa Junction Project back in 2019 under the helm of Joseph Muscat, during which a fleet of vintage cars were invited to drive up the flyover.

The project, forming part of the EU-wide TEN-T network, consists of seven junctions built in replacement of the previous traffic lights.

Infrastructure Malta said that it planted over 18,000 trees and shrubs in the area, while a reservoir will be used to irrigate those same trees and shrubbery.

Two bridges were built to facilitate pedestrian modes of transport, and a newly constructed parking space can house up to 380 vehicles.

A further 250 light bulbs were installed, while the junction is supported by 16 concrete columns.

Figures provided by government indicate that 100,000 vehicles pass through this route every day. During peak hour, more than 8,000 vehicles pass through this project.