New roads but no culverts: waterlogged roads make walking hell for pedestrians

We asked roads projects boss Frederick Azzopardi why even newly-widened roads were waterlogged and had no water culverts

Infrastructure Malta CEO Fredrick Azzopardi claimed that better water management was not always possible in Maltese roads
Infrastructure Malta CEO Fredrick Azzopardi claimed that better water management was not always possible in Maltese roads

Heavy rainfall hit Malta on Tuesday, instantly flooding various locations where wider roads had been newly built, and making it impossible for pedestrians to walk on pavements without being drenched by passing cars.

Various reports received by MaltaToday from commuters showed major flooding in areas such as in Qormi, Pembroke, Birzebbuga and San Gwann.

In San Gwann, outside MaltaToday’s offices, the newly-widened road had gathered rainwater beneath the pavement, making it impossible for public transport commuters to stand in the bus station without being drenched by passing cars.

But asked to explain how such new roads – part of Labour’s much vaunted electoral promise – could have not catered for water run-off, Infrastructure Malta CEO Fredrick Azzopardi claimed that better water management was not always possible in Maltese roads.

“Where possible, water culverts are being installed so as to divert water from the roads and reduce flooding,” Azzopardi said. “[But] this is not always possible due to the development surrounding roads.

“In coastal areas such as in Sliema, water catchment facilities are already in place, but due to the dense development, when large volumes of water are collected, the facilities cannot cope.”

Azzopardi said that run-off water can always be expected in low-lying areas such as Qormi. “While we are doing the best we can to provide better water management, these areas will always be prone to flooding,” Azzopardi said.

He also said that Tuesday’s heavy rainfall may have caused certain drainage systems to be blocked due to debris carried by the water.

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