Triton Square and the Landfront Ditch Projects by the Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation
Over the past weeks, the Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation, in collaboration with Transport Malta and the Restoration Unit, has commenced the works related to the Triton Square and the Landfront Ditch projects. These two projects will see the pedestrianisation of the entire square around the Triton Fountain replacing the existing bus parking area, as well as the formation of a public Garden in the ditch underneath City Gate.
As part of this project, various interventions on the existing infrastructure became necessary and these included the formation of a roundabout in front of the Education Division, upgrading of services in the upper part of Triq l-Assedju l-Kbir next to the Phoenicia Hotel, upgrading of the Biskuttin area around the Christ the King Monument, and other infrastructural works in the Phase 1 Bus Terminus areas.
The preliminary works on site have been ongoing since the beginning of October. As from Saturday 12th November 2016 it will also be necessary to close off vehicular access through a section of Triq l-Assedju l-Kbir (next to Phoenicia hotel) so that a number of existing services are upgraded, new ones added and the proposed roundabout formed.
The following diversions will thus apply:
Light to medium sized vehicles coming from Sa Maison or Triq Sant’Anna requiring access to Valletta from Excelsior area will be diverted through Ospizio, in front of the Central Public Library Belt is-Sebh and back onto Triq l-Assedju l-Kbir. Light to medium sized vehicles coming from Marsamxett area will be diverted round the Education Division prior to exiting Valletta.
Triq l-Assedju l-Kbir will not be accessible for heavy vehicles from the Excelsior to the Mall. Heavy vehicles will be diverted to enter and exit from Valletta from Water Front area (ta’ Liesse). A turning point for heavy vehicles will be formed next to the Mediterranean Conference Centre and St Michael’s Ditch.
The University of Malta has this morning started the first of a series of seismic investigations, commissioned by Transport Malta, in the channels between Malta and Gozo. The investigations are part of the studies commissioned to eventually determine the feasibility of a tunnel between Malta and Gozo. The investigations will help establish a geological model of the area that will guide the conceptual design of the proposed tunnel between the islands.
The vessel Midas Express is navigating back and forth, in the area indicated, towing a 300m long streamer behind it. Air compressors on board will release compressed air that will bounce off the seabed. Receptors along the streamer will register the change in pressure while instrumentation will record the data on board. Italian experts and University of Malta researchers will be monitoring the data as it is collected.
Transport Malta issued a Notice to Mariners asking the latter to navigate with caution within the area, give wide berth and observe a 1 kilometre restricted zone around the vessel. The Midas Express’ ability to
manoeuvre will be restricted. These seismic investigations are expected to be completed by the end of next week when the detailed planning will start on the next set of investigations.
The Midas Express is also in continual contact with the Gozo Channel ferries to avoid any disturbance to their service.
The Ministry for Transport and Infrastructure, through Transport Malta, reached an agreement with the Mediterranean Maritime Hub, the firm that will develop a maritime centre in Dock 7 to allow temporary access in a bid to ease traffic leaving Cottonera towards Valletta.
The temporary road is open on weekdays between 06:00 and 09:30.
In the meantime Transport Malta started preparatory works to develop an independent road through the former Ship Building. The road will function as another tidal lane connecting Paola hill and Albert Town.
Transport Malta and University of Malta to work together on Sub-Sea Tunnel Project
Transport Malta has signed an agreement with the University of Malta for the latter to conduct geological and geophysical investigations in conjunction with the sub-sea tunnel between Malta and Gozo. The scientific investigations will include both desktop and field studies, passive seismic measurements, bathymetric mapping, and a seismic study.
The final results of these investigations will also incorporate the results from the recently published Investigative Coring tender. These results will in turn generate a Terrestrial Baseline study which will include geological, geomorphological and hydrogeological maps. It will also include a digital elevation model, cross-sectional profiles and hydrological models. The University of Malta will conduct a Marine Baseline study which will include a geological model of topography, stratigraphy, structure, geological, geophysical and tectonic properties of the study area.
Rector Prof Alfred Vella underlined the importance that the University uses its wide range of expertise to produce studies that can done be implemented for the benefit of society at large. The agreement attests to the strategy that the University plays a key role in projects of national importance such as the sub-sea tunnel between Malta and Gozo
Transport Malta’ Chairman, James Piscopo said that ‘Transport Malta is very pleased to have the University of Malta on board for this exciting project. We look forward to collaborating together in enhancing and expanding our knowledge, whilst gaining unprecedented information that will critically help us in delivering a project that will be of social and economic benefit not only for Gozo but our Country as a whole”
Apart from contributing extensively towards the studies on the feasibility of a Malta Gozo Tunnel, Transport Malta and the University of Malta are also confident that the collaboration will provide a broad range of knowledge and technology transfer opportunities for the two entities.
This is what we have been up to, till september.
The video starts with the demolition of The Cottage. The latter was a restaurant that had become a landmark for the area. The restaurant had to make way for the new Kappara design. The land it occupied will be used to widen the existing road and for a slip way.
The contractor raised most of the retaining walls on the National Pool side. A local factory manufactures the pre-cast walls. Trailers take the walls on site and a crane lowers them into their final position.
Works have progressed mostly in the area close to the bridge of Wied Għollieqa. The retaining walls have reached the existing street level and the contractor is filling the gap in between with material to form the slipway and the new road.
The contractor built a series of service ducts throughout. The ducts will house electricity cables and other services. Personnel will be able to access the service ducts without digging up the road.
A €1.8 million road investment in Żurrieq.
Transport Malta started works to widen Vjal ix-Xarolla in Żurrieq this morning. The contractor is clearing the area to be widened and will build new retaining walls. Following these works, Transport Malta will re-construct the road completely to have an additional carriageway along Vjal ix-Xarolla extending all the way to Triq il-Kuċċard in Safi. The Authority will replace the existing services, install new ones and will form a service road with parking for residents.
Transport Malta is investing €1.8 million on this project, which was announced during the last Budget Speech. People of the area have long been asking for this project which is expected to regenerate the neighbourhood. Works were scheduled to start after summer, in agreement with the local council, so as not to obstruct the local festivities.
In response to Front Ħarsien ODŻ’s statement earlier today, Transport Malta needs to clarify the following.
The public tender is another major step towards having the necessary information for the eventual conceptual design of the tunnel. It is a prerequisite for any further steps. The studies will provide geological data which together with other inputs will serve as a baseline to develop the tunnel alignment and design. Transport Malta’s foreign consultants indicated the borehole alignment for the tender. They based their indications on studies and the information available to date.
The consultants, Sintef are a research institute based in Scandinavia with over 60 years of experience. Transport Malta commissioned the institute to provide technical expert and advisory services for the Malta-Gozo tunnel project. Sintef has extensive experience with more than thirty years of sub-sea tunnelling. They have also taken up advisory roles in various countries worldwide. Their tunnelling experience in Norway puts them in the forefront at providing advisory services for large infrastructural projects and will definitely be of benefit for the cost effectiveness of the project.
Transport Malta issued a public tender. We are inviting local scientists and/or foreign consortia to partner in this process so that the project can move forward.