Roads chief has few regrets and will change none of the decisions agency took

Xtra on TVM News Plus | Infrastructure Malta CEO Fredrick Azzopardi says the agency could have been more sensitive at times but will not change any of the decisions

Infrastructure Malta CEO Fredrick Azzopardi
Infrastructure Malta CEO Fredrick Azzopardi

Fredrick Azzopardi has captained the intensive road-building exercise of the past four years but has very few regrets despite the heavy criticism he has received.

Azzopardi heads Infrastructure Malta, a government agency created after 2017 to implement an electoral pledge to invest €100 million per year in road construction and improvements.

“My approach may have changed over these years but I will change none of the decisions we took,” Azzopardi said on Monday when interviewed on Xtra.

“Every project we embarked on has its own story… whenever we widened a road we didn’t do so capriciously but to create cycle lanes, pavements and to make roads safer. In terms of our approach we could have been more sensitive when we took land or entered private land… but people are appreciating what we are doing,” he said.

Azzopardi insisted that the agency has listened to criticism, pointing out that the original plans for the Central Link Project in Attard were different from the ultimate project that was implemented.

“In our first proposal, the Attard side of the road consisted of four lanes and the removal of all trees on one side of the road further up towards Rabat…but thanks to ongoing discussions we amended the plans accordingly,” he said.

Azzopardi said the road projects being implemented will serve the country well for the next 25 years but warned no administration can rest on its laurels.

“Transport is continuously evolving and the situation has to be given constant attention over a span of years,” he said.

Asked about the agency’s shore-to-ship electricity supply project in the Grand Harbour, Azzopardi said it will help improve air quality in the area. The project aims to supply ships berthed in the port with electricity so that they will be able to switch off their engines that work on polluting heavy fuel oil.

“The shore-to-ship project will remove all those little power stations from our port… it is the second biggest clean air project in the Grand Harbour after the closure and dismantling of Marsa power station,” he said.