'Game-changer' Marsa Junction Project sees first flyover officially opened

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat described the project as a game-changer, saying that such a project would ensure 62,000 tonnes less carbon emissions

Vintage cars were invited to drive up the new Marsa flyover as part of a ceremony inaugurating the opening of the first Marsa Junction Project flyover
Vintage cars were invited to drive up the new Marsa flyover as part of a ceremony inaugurating the opening of the first Marsa Junction Project flyover

The government officially inaugurated the opening of the first flyover of the Marsa Junction Project on Friday evening, which Prime Minister Joseph Muscat described as a 'game-changing' infrastructural feat.

The €70 million part-EU-funded project saw its first celebratory milestone completed as vintage cars were invited to drive over the first completed flyover to mark its official opening.

Muscat said that such a project was game-changing in that it would ensure that cars emit 62,000 tonnes less since the waiting time on the roads would be significantly reduced.

"Since 1997, this area saw absolutely no maintenance, no design. It's fitting that on the 55th anniversary of Malta's independence we are giving a present to the Maltese people," Muscat said, adding that criticisms of the project were constant despite the behind-the-scenes work of wardens, police, Infrastructure Malta and foreign workers.

The date for the official opening was also chosen partly due to students returning back to school next Monday, Muscat said.

The Prime Minister spoke on a makeshift stage put up at the flyover and switched to the English language to thank the Turkish workers which were so "essential" for the completion of the first stage of the junction project.

"The fact that we are here today, ahead of schedule, is testament to how thrilled we are to work with you. At the beginning, there were comments about your arrival which verged on racism, of which I am ashamed. Today, I see this project as a very good blueprint for further collaboration between our two countries," Muscat said.

Muscat said that Infrastructure Malta, on taking over roadworks from Transport Malta, had filled the shoes well and had been doing some "excellent work" across all of Malta.

"Sometimes you're known as bulldozers," he joked, "and sometimes that's what you need to do. Of course, a smoother approach is sometimes required as well. But people are also tired of seeing renderings of projects that never happen. People want to see the real deal."

Muscat thanked Transport Minister Ian Borg and said that he had shown "obvious leadership" in overseeing the projects.

"He won't rest on his laurels," Muscat said. "The rest of the Marsa Junction Project has to be finished."

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