[WATCH] St Venera tunnels bypass project announced

Two new lanes to be added just outside St Venera tunnels

Two new lanes are being constructed in the area outside the St Venera tunnels, transport minister Ian Borg announced today
Two new lanes are being constructed in the area outside the St Venera tunnels, transport minister Ian Borg announced today
Transport minister Ian Borg on the St Venera tunnels bypass project

An extra two lanes are to be added to the bypass near the St Venera tunnels, one when exiting the tunnels towards Marsa, and another on the opposite side, by the showrooms before the slip road towards Mriehel, transport minister Ian Borg announced today.

Vehicles leaving the tunnel and driving up the short hill towards Marsa will no longer need to merge into one lane, Borg said, with a total of three lanes being available, including one for drivers heading towards Qormi.

Likewise, vehicles coming from Marsa or Qormi will have three lanes available, two going straight back towards the tunnels, and one going to the slip road leading to the Mriehel bypass.

Cars exiting the St Venera tunnels going to Marsa, or heading towards the tunnels before the Mriehel slip road will have two lanes to use once project is complete
Cars exiting the St Venera tunnels going to Marsa, or heading towards the tunnels before the Mriehel slip road will have two lanes to use once project is complete

Remarking that it had taken him 11 minutes to get through the tunnels on his way to the press conference, Borg said that the addition of two lanes, which should be complete within 13 months, will address the existing bottleneck caused by the merging of two carriageways into one.

“It would be useless to invest in project such as those in Kappara, Triq Dicembru Tlettax and the Marsa junction project if we did not address the situation in the road here,” he said, highlighting that the project will require an investment of €5 million, for which the government was asking for EU co-financing.

Borg explained that the water supply, electricity and telecommunication systems in the area would also be modernised.

Congestion has two major impacts - on the environment, by way of pollution, and on the economy, since traffic delays cost people and businesses money, he said, which is why the government was working on short, medium and long-term ways of solving the situation.

Most of the land being used for the construction of the additional lanes is government owned, he said - including schools in the area - however, where needed, the government would be expropriating land in the public interest.

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