BUDGET 2021: Central Link Project to be completed by next year

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  • Development of shore side electricity system to reduce air pollution
  • Compensation Fund to strengthen construction to be introduced
  • New ferry facilities as a means of transport

Shona Berger

Two major projects including the Central Link Project and the new junction between Pembroke and High Ridge in Swieqi will be completed next year. Work will also be carried out on the Kirkop tunnel and the Airport Intersection Project, the Luqa Junction Project and Msida Creek Junction.

Preparations will continue for the rebuilding of the Marsascala bypass and a new subway adjacent to ‘il-Bieb tal-Bombi.’ In addition, maintenance and improvement work will be carried out on various residential and rural roads, as well as renovation of the four main tunnels of the country – in Santa Venera, Ħal Kirkop, tal-Qroqq and ta’ Ġiorni.

Safe Cycle and Waking Routes Project

These road projects will also be incorporated with the construction of wide sidewalks, bridges and dedicated bicycle lanes in order to have a sustainable infrastructure to facilitate the use of bicycles and walking.

Works on five maritime projects which are related to the new breakwater in Marsaxlokk will be completed; four piers in St Thomas Bay and Marsascala; the reconstruction of the pier in Ċirkewwa and facilities for fisherman in the Port of Mġarr in Gozo.

With regard to new projects starting next year, among others, there will be improvements to the infrastructure around the coast which includes new facilities for passengers using ferries as a means of transport – in Sliema, Cospicua, Ta’ Xbiex, Buġibba and Birgu. The necessary repairs of existing piers will also be taken care of.

The final preparations that will eventually lead to the launch of the Grand Harbour Clear Air Project will continue in order to develop a shoreside electricity system which reduces the pollution of the air generated from cruise liners.

Government to change the face of the industrial infrastructure and the creation of spaces

The government will be embarking on an investment program of more than €450 million over a period of seven years. This will include an investment in the new Life Sciences Park, Kordin Business Centre, an investment in the regeneration of an area that was used as a landfill in Marsa and which will create a new space for SMEs, as well as an investment in a logistics centre.

Infrastructure Malta is determined to complete the Crafts Village in Ta’ Qali by next year and a plan has been drawn up to give full support to those businesses that have fallen behind in building their part of the project. Thus, the upgrading of the Crafts Village is completed all at once.

As part of strengthening the aviation structure, the project related to the reconstruction of the Lima taxiway will begin.

Plans to build 500 apartments and the construction of nearly 700 more apartments will continue. Simultaneously, work will also continue on the maintenance and beautification program in the apartment blocks and government building areas.

Strengthening the construction industry

A Compensation Fund will be introduced for the first time and in recent months, a number of individuals training for operating as property sales agents and consultants will lead to issuance of a license for real estate agents; property brokers and property consultants will be able to work as such.

The Building and Construction Authority will be set up, which should lead to an industry operating more professionally and reducing the risk of accidents where construction work is being carried out.

An Independent Tribunal will also be set up to hear appeals against any decision taken.

Restoration and Regeneration of property

Another scheme which will be introduced involves individuals or companies who will be given the chance to apply for the extension of the lease on commercial property to make an investment.

The projects in Marsaxlokk and in ‘il-Ġnien tal-Mall’ in Floriana will be completed. Similar regeneration work will begin in Cottonera, including in Senglea, Kalkara, Vittoriosa as well as on the promenades of Msida and Pietà. 

Work will continue on the extension of Għadira Bay, as well as the continuation of parking areas in Għadira and Birżebbuga.

In addition, work will commence on historic sites such as the Cisterns, the Interpretation Centre, as well as the restoration and opening to the public of the Main Guard Building.

Regeneration and restoration will also continue at the Maritime Museum, including the naval furnaces in the building – creating a new experience throughout the Museum.

Mass Transport System

Following the first phase of the study on the possibility of introducing a Mass Transport System, through an underground railway using light rail, the second phase will be carried out next year in order to determine whether the project is viable.

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