The long-heralded and much delayed tunnel under Tigne' Point will finally open for traffic tomorrow (Tuesday), just as Bisazza Street officially becomes a pedestrian zone.

The 250-metre long tunnel was built by Midi as part of the Tigne' project and was actually completed in 2008, but its opening was delayed by changes to traffic plans and works on the connecting roads, which were government's responsibility.

The building of the tunnel has a long history. In 1992 a bypass through Tigne' featured in the strategic plan for the local road network to relieve traffic from Sliema's core.

It was pushed underground and by 1999, plans were completed. The building of the tunnel was entrusted to Midi as part of their contract conditions for the Tigne' Point project.

The tunnel was eventually increased in length to wind around the Garden Battery, so that it could be preserved. This 19th century fortification system was not originally scheduled to be conserved according to the Outline Development Permit.

Following the opening of the tunnel, the government plans to resurface Locker Street and St Anthony Street, which took the traffic while works on Bizazza street were underway and the tunnel was still closed.

Pictures: Clifton Fenech - DOI

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