‘Government committed to planting new trees’ – Joe Mizzi

Transport and Infrastructure Minister says that the Msida bus lane project design was updated as the original version had included the uprooting of trees

Transport minister Joe Mizzi. Photo by Ray attard
Transport minister Joe Mizzi. Photo by Ray attard

The government is committed to protect existing trees and create more opportunities for the planting of new ones, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Joe Mizzi said.

Speaking at a seminar on road-size trees organized by Transport Malta and environmental NGO Flimkien Ghal Ambjent Ahjar, Mizzi said that olive trees on the Coast Road along the Kennedy Grove stretch were relocated rather than destroyed.

“The relocation was inevitable as the Coast Road required widening in order to render it safer for motorists,” Mizzi said. “Also along the Kennedy Drive stretch, we went as far as changing the design and realigning part of the road to protect some of the older trees, which will now be housed in the centre strip.”

However, three fig trees and four pine trees were destroyed during the Coast Road project.  

“We were criticised for this, but sub-terrain investigations revealed that the roots of these seven trees had, over the years, grown around the sanitary sewer pipes, eliminating totally the possibility of relocation,” Mizzi said.

He added that the original design of the Pieta-Msida bus lane project, that included the construction of a bus lane as an inner lane of the main carriageway, had entailed the removal of trees.

“The new design which has been implemented still included the construction of a bus lane but did not require the uprooting of any trees,” Mizzi said. 

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