Updated | Front Ħarsien ODZ skeptical about TM geological study

Front Ħarsien ODZ has show skepticism and called into question Transport Malta’s intentions for the tender to gather geological data about the Malta-Gozo tunnel

Transport Malta issued a tender to gather geological data on the sub-surface of the Malta-Gozo Channel in order to further study the possible development of a tunnel connecting the two islands
Transport Malta issued a tender to gather geological data on the sub-surface of the Malta-Gozo Channel in order to further study the possible development of a tunnel connecting the two islands

The geological study tender that has been issued by Transport Malta raises important questions, Front Ħarsien ODZ said in a statement.

Transport Malta issued a tender to gather geological data on the sub-surface of the Malta-Gozo Channel in order to further study the possible development of a tunnel connecting the two islands.

The winning contractor is expected to conduct geotechnical investigations at various locations on land and in the channels. The core samples extracted from depths of approximately 200 metres below sea bed level, will aid in establishing the geological formations of the area, which will eventually determine the feasibility of constructing a tunnel.

“The investigations will ultimately establish a geological model of the area under investigation. The model will in turn form the basis for the Conceptual Design of the tunnel,” Transport Malta had said.

Front Ħarsien ODZ questioned Transport Malta’s plans and the intentions of the tender.

"Front hopes that the study is really intended for scientific evaluation of the safest and most feasible route for the proposed tunnel. It is unclear why Transport Malta has already selected a route for the proposed tunnel," Front said.

Front Ħarsien ODZ called for Transport Malta to divulge information related to the tender and the study.

"We therefore ask Transport Malta to declare who selected this route and on what basis. We ask for the publication of all evidence-based documentation in this regard,” it said.

Front added that such issues should be dealt with by the Environment and Resources Authority.

“We also believe that the geological study should fall under the responsibility of the Environment and Resources Authority, rather than Transport Malta."

Transport Malta: Borehole alignment indicated by foreign consultants

Transport Malta: Borehole alignment indicated by foreign consultants

In a reaction, Transport Malta described the public tender as “another major step” towards having the necessary information for the eventual conceptual design of the tunnel.  

“It is a prerequisite for any further steps.  The studies will provide geological data which together with other inputs will serve as a baseline to develop the tunnel alignment and design,” the authority said.  

“Transport Malta’s foreign consultants indicated the borehole alignment for the tender. They based their indications on studies and the information available to date.”  

Transport Malta named Sintef as its foreign consultants, whome it said were a research institute based in Scandinavia with over 60 years of experience.  

Transport Malta commissioned the institute to provide technical expert and advisory services for the Malta-Gozo tunnel project.  

“Sintef has extensive experience with more than thirty years of sub-sea tunneling,” Transport Malta said.  

“They have also taken up advisory roles in various countries worldwide. Their tunneling experience in Norway puts them in the forefront at providing advisory services for large infrastructural projects and will definitely be of benefit for the cost effectiveness of the project.”

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