Local council endorses Santa Luċija tunnels project

The Santa Luċija local council said that residents would benefit from easier access to their locality, as well as less air pollution, noise and congestion as a result of the project

A photomontage of the Santa Lucija tunnels that will allow traffic to flow unhindered between the Marsa junction project and Tal-Barrani road
A photomontage of the Santa Lucija tunnels that will allow traffic to flow unhindered between the Marsa junction project and Tal-Barrani road

The Santa Luċija local council has endorsed plans to upgrade the roundabout just outside the locality, arguing that once completed, it will provide residents with better access to their locality, as well as cleaner air and less noise.

The project will see an underground tunnel constructed beneath the present roundabout, which will link Tal-Barrani Road and Vjal Santa Luċija.

Infrastructure Malta said earlier this week that such a project will be “improving the safety and efficiency of the principal route to several localities in the southern part of Malta”.

The project was approved in September 2018, but has recently been cast into the spotlight over plans to uproot 293 trees.

The Environment and Resources Authority said that while this was true, 757 trees will be planted and 254 will be transplanted within the same area which will contribute to “approximately 300 new trees in the same area than there is at present”.

In a statement on Friday, the local council emphasized that the project had all the necessary permits from the Planning Authority as well as the Environment and Resources Authority.

READ MORE: Santa Luċija road tunnels get planning permit

“Until the project is completed, it will cause some inconvenience,” the council noted, adding that part of a jogging track in the area would have to be temporarily closed as a result.  

The council said it was overseeing the works and would ensure that the track is returned to its previous state and even improved upon.

“The trees lining the jogging track that will be uprooted will be transferred to another site in Santa Luċija. An additional 100 trees will also be added,” the council said.

Moreover, it said that Infrastructure Malta would be implementing a “promenade project” in Dawret it-Torri and Triq Prinjoli. This, it said, would include a cycling lane and walk way along the entire length of the promenade.

The council said that temporary traffic lights would be installed to allow reisdents, including school children, to cross between Santa Luċija and Ħal Tarxien while work on Tal-Barrani road is underway.  

Finally, the council said that it would be monitoring work on the junction and would be keeping in contact with Infrastructure Malta to ensure that issues that might crop out over the course of the works are addressed immediately.

READ MORE: 300 trees face uprooting as Santa Lucija tunnels project gets underway

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