The Gudja roundabout could be transformed into a multi-level intersection with two tunnels and a flyover, with the national roads agency hoping to get works on the project started in 2020.
Infrastructure Malta has submitted its project proposal to the Planning Authority and said it would be opening up the plans to public consulation.
What are the plans?
Two new tunnels will be built beneath the roundabout to link the south- and northbound carriageways of L-Avjazzjoni Avenue and Ħal Far road, allowing road users travelling to and from the airport, Birżebbuġa, the Freeport and Ħal Far to bypass the roundabout.
The roundabout will be rebuilt to improve access from Gudja to Għaxaq and northbound traffic flows from Kirkop tunnels to L-Avjazzjoni Avenue.
Above it, a new flyover will bridge the southbound carriageway of L-Avjazzjoni Avenue with L-Ewwel Titjira Road, towards the Kirkop Tunnels. Commuters heading to Kirkop, Mqabba, Qrendi, Żurrieq and Safi will no longer need to go through the roundabout to get to the Kirkop Tunnels.
Why does it want the project?
Dubbed the Kirkop Tunnels and Airport Intersection Project, Infrastructure Malta believes the plans will greatly alleviate congestion problems at this busy junction.
“By channelling three of the routes currently connected through the roundabout to the underpass and overpass lanes, Infrastructure Malta is reducing roundabout conflicts and the resulting collision risks and waiting times for thousands of road users who use this junction every day,” it said in a statement announcing the plans.
Commuters travelling through the Kirkop Tunnels as well as those accessing the airport and Freeport all stand to benefit, it said.
What will happen next?
Infrastructure Malta said that it submitted project plans to the Planning Authority this week and would soon be issuing a call for offers for road building services for the project.
The project, which will be co-financed through the EU’s Connection Europe facility, could get under way in 2020.
Plans will be opened to public consultation and for further studies in upcoming stages of the process, Infrastructure Malta said.