The Central Link's long road to completion

The Central Link's concept was simple and seemingly efficient for commuters to be able to travel through various areas in the center of Malta with one direct link. The road network is aimed at the betterment of travel between Mriehel, Birkirkara, Balzan, Attard, Mosta with Rabat. This project came with 13 remodeled intersections and junctions, with the aim to reduce travel time by 50% for commuters, while out of the new 7.5km on this route, 2km was designated with bike lanes, which when considering Sustainable and Active travel, may have also been added to the full length of the project? dim-hou-YEfx6bdQ37k-unsplash.jpg

This project is now being finalized, with Infrastructure Malta Minister Ian Borg stating that the final stages of tarmac are being placed in hopes of it being finished by October. This is also notably the time of year, when students return to school in masses, which in itself is questionable at this stage of the pandemic. While Borg also recognized that “There will always be some chaos on the roads” suggesting this will not entirely resolve the traffic and issues faced during peak commuting times, urging drivers to plan ahead and be prepared for alternative routes until it's finalization. 

Some issues faced since it's start where blockages in the culverts, which would lead to flooding in Autumn if not resolved as soon as possible. The need to rely on these culverts is also related to the removal of hundreds of mature trees from this route, to make way for the expansion and maintenance of the roads. This was initially protested greatly due to the 49,000 square meters of agricultural land it would require, with students and young adults tying themselves to the trees to oppose this project, yet were disregarded while Infrastructure Malta decreased their plans slightly to reduce the original scale of destruction to the area. Now that the project has been ongoing and soon completed, the Roads agency had mentioned that 800 trees will be added to make up for those removed. These 800 are the minimum required by Law. 

Do you travel this route regularly, and if so share your take on this project and how it can be improved to better the quality of life in the area! Share your comments below!