A €5 million project to widen the Marsa-Ħamrun bypass has entered its final stage, Infrastructure Malta said on Monday.
Two new lanes are being opened to road users while the existing ones are temporarily closed to be rebuilt.
The Marsa-Ħamrun Bypass project, which started earlier this year, includes the rebuilding of a four-lane, dual carriageway arterial road to add two lanes, one in each direction.
One of the new lanes will eliminate the bottleneck at the southbound exit of the Santa Venera tunnels, where the existing two-lane carriageway narrows to one lane, causing major difficulties to road users travelling towards the southern part of Malta.
In the northbound carriageway, the new third lane will facilitate safer connections between Qormi and Mrieħel, as road users will no longer have to shift from one lane to another to travel from the Qormi slip road to the Mrieħel Bypass.
The two-lane southbound carriageway, between the Mrieħel flyover and the Qormi-Marsa flyover, will be temporarily shifted to the newly-constructed lanes. Infrastructure Malta's contractors will start rebuilding the lanes of this carriageway as soon as it is cordoned off.
Motorists are urged to observe reduced speed limits and other temporary directions. Works that cannot be carried out safely without closing off access to either of the two carriageways, including the laying of the topmost asphalt layers, will be carried out at night to minimise difficulties to road users.
During the next few weeks, the rebuilding of the southbound carriageway will include the construction of the new central strip, underground cabling for new street lighting poles, an underground storm water system, new road foundations and the laying of a new asphalt surface.
Infrastructure Malta will then start reconstructing the northbound carriageway of the road to complete the project.
The project may be part-financed by the European Union's Cohesion Fund. It is scheduled to be completed in April 2019. However, Infrastructure Malta plans to open all six lanes of the bypass to road users by the end of this year.
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