Infrastructure Malta is lifting in place the concrete beams that will support the ceiling slab of the new Mrieħel Underpass.
Infrastructure Malta launched the Mrieħel Underpass Project in 2021, to build a new 60-metre tunnel connecting L-Imdina Road with the Mrieħel Bypass, at the junction next to the Malta Financial Services Authority offices.
The agency is working to open this underpass to commuters at the end of September, and to complete the roundabout above it by the end of the year.
In February, Infrastructure Malta completed the excavation of this cut-and-cover underpass and started erecting 290 precast concrete panels to form its walls.
On Tuesday, workers lifted in place the first of 16 prestressed concrete beams, each weighing six tonnes, that will support the tunnel roof.
When the tunnel is ready, Infrastructure Malta will continue the project with the new roundabout above it, as well as new pedestrian and cycling crossings and landscaped areas.
Just like the Santa Luċija Roundabout Underpass Project was developed to extend the benefits of the Marsa Junction Project along the main route to southern Malta, Infrastructure Malta planned the Mrieħel Underpass Project to augment the positive impacts of Central Link Project in Attard, Balzan, Birkirkara and Mrieħel.
The two-lane underpass will form part of a new roundabout intersection that is replacing the old traffic lights system at this important crossroads between Balzan, Birkirkara and Mrieħel.
Through this tunnel, the main eastbound traffic flows, from L-Imdina Road, Balzan towards the Mrieħel Bypass (Royal Malta Artillery Avenue), will be grade-separated from the other flows converging at this junction.
As part of the Central Link Project, in 2020 Infrastructure Malta built two new lanes to create an uninterrupted route in the opposite direction, westbound from the Bypass towards Balzan and Attard. By eliminating the principal eastbound (new tunnel) and westbound (2020 lanes) flows from the new roundabout, it is becoming quicker and safer for road users travelling to other nearby destinations, including Mriehel, Birkirkara and Żebbuġ (from Attard, Balzan and Lija).
As it reduces the new roundabout’s design speed and traffic volumes, Mrieħel Underpass Project is also enabling the introduction of safer pedestrian and cycling crossings to link Birkirkara, Mrieħel and Balzan with Il-Ħofor Road, a rural road leading to Żebbuġ and Qormi.
These roundabout crossings will further improve the connections of the four-kilometre cycling and walking infrastructure developed through the Central Link Project in Ta’ Qali, Attard and Balzan.