Traffic problems in Triq tal-Balal, a major road link between Naxxar, Għargħur, Iklin and San Ġwann are being addressed in a new project being implemented by Infrastructure Malta.
The road extends from the roundabout at the northern end of the road, linking Triq tal-Balal to Naxxar, Iklin and Triq M. Murray to and from Għargħur, and concludes in San Ġwann.
Works include the building of a new two-kilometre lane in the southbound carriage, from Naxxar to San Ġwann, and the rebuilding of Triq tal-Balal’s four roundabouts to introduce new bypass lanes and improved junction designs.
The new roundabout designs will also reduce travelling times through several secondary roads in the area, including Triq tal-Ibraġ, which links the l-Ibraġ and Madliena areas of Swieqi to San Ġwann, and Triq M. Murray, connecting the Birguma and Tat-Tarġa areas of Naxxar with Triq tal-Balal.
The existing street lighting and vehicle restraint systems along this road will also be upgraded, the authority said in a statement. The new road design includes a number of bus lay-bys for safer public transport commutes. All works on site are scheduled to be completed by the end of summer.
Commenting on the project, Transport Minister Ian Borg said Triq tal-Balal was used by thousands of road users travelling from Burmarrad, Mosta, Naxxar, Iklin and Birkirkara towards San Ġwann, Sliema, Valletta and other nearby localities every morning.
The road’s capacity was exceeded several years ago, causing congestion and increased vehicle emissions in this area.
“By adding a lane in the southbound direction and by optimising the design of this road’s roundabouts, we are increasing its capacity to meet current and future demand and to continue reducing travelling times along this route.
“As the road and its junctions become more efficient, air pollution caused by vehicle emissions from long queues in this road will decrease as well,” the minister said.
The minister said the upgrading of Triq tal-Balal is one of several ongoing projects launched this summer to alleviate existing difficulties in the country’s road network, reducing accident risks and travelling times.
Other similar works currently in progress include the rebuilding of parts of Triq Diċembru 13 and its connections to Triq Aldo Moro and the Marsa-Ħamrun Bypass in Marsa, the upgrading of Triq l-Imdina and the two main roundabouts in Żebbuġ, the widening of Vjal l-Avjazzjoni in Gudja and the rebuilding of a number of secondary roads providing alternative routes between different localities.
Works on other similar improvements will commence in the coming weeks.
“The ministry, through Infrastructure Malta, is committed to an ongoing investment in the optimisation of the road network in Malta and Gozo, and in the development of new infrastructure to meet current and future requirements whilst encouraging increased use of sustainable forms of transportation,” Dr Borg said.