Footbridge across busy Paola road will make it easier for students to reach MCAST

Infrastructure Malta is planning a new pedestrian and cycle bridge linking Corradino Hill with the centre of Paola

The new footbridge will give MCAST students and Corradino Hill residents easier access to the centre of Paola
The new footbridge will give MCAST students and Corradino Hill residents easier access to the centre of Paola

A new footbridge across Dom Mintoff Road in Paola will provide easier access to MCAST students and give isolated Corradino Hill residents a link to the town centre.

The plans for the foot and cycle bridge were outlined on Tuesday morning by Infrastructure Malta.

Dom Mintoff Road is the busy artery that runs between MCAST and the mosque in Paola.

Infrastructure Malta said the overpass will reconnect families living in the Corradino Hill residential area with the central part of Paola.

The footbridge will span the busy artery running between MCAST and the mosque
The footbridge will span the busy artery running between MCAST and the mosque

The bridge will connect the MCAST area with the Mediterranean Gardens, situated behind the high wall that runs along the road.

This will provide a quicker and safer route for thousands of students who walk, cycle or use public transport to get to the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) and the Mariam Al Batool School further up the hill.

The bridge will also improve access to the Corradino industrial estate, the mosque and the church in the same area.

As things stand, pedestrians have to cross several busy roads to reach these destinations.

Infrastructure Malta said its planners took advantage of variations in ground elevation to circumvent the space limitations of the narrow tree-lined footpaths at the sides of the road. The footbridge will not disrupt existing land uses along this main route to Cottonera and other localities in the south-eastern region of Malta.  

Infrastructure Malta said the Corradino end of the proposed overpass will rise from a small plot of disused land wedged between Dom Mintoff Road and the service road leading to the main entrance of the MCAST Campus and to the Corradino residential area.

The four-metre wide bridge will extend 20 metres across the road, to the Mediterranean Gardens, which stand at an elevated position several metres above the same thoroughfare. The steel bridge will have gently-sloping ramps for cyclists and pedestrians at both ends.

“Infrastructure Malta plans to embellish the areas at the two ends of the bridge, including part of the Mediterranean Gardens. The agency will replace a derelict area within this garden to open up a new pedestrian and cycling pathway that links the overpass with the existing bus laybys in Paola Hill, the road leading to the centre of Paola,” the agency said.

Bus laybys in the area will be modified for improved connections with the new bridge and pathway.

The Planning Authority process to launch public consultation and obtain the necessary development permits is already in progress, the agency added.

A call for offers for the required construction and steel engineering services has been issued with the aim of starting works on site later this year.

This will be the third pedestrian overpass the agency will be developing in 2019. This summer, it is starting construction of an overpass for cyclists and pedestrians in Aviation Avenue, close to the Institute of Tourism Studies and the Malta International Airport, between Luqa and Gudja.

Works to build another pedestrian and cycling overpass connecting Hamrun, Blata l-Bajda and the Floriana Park and Ride facilities will commence soon.

More in National