The Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) Board today approved the most strategic and important phase of the national flood relief project which will see the construction of a storm water tunnel together with infrastructural services between Attard and the Ta’ Xbiex Marina.
Once completed, this project which is being considered for co-financing by the European Regional Development Fund, will alleviate the prone localities of Attard, Birkirkara, Msida, Lija, Balzan and Gzira from the intense flooding problem they experience every when a storm hits the Maltese Islands. All the rain water run-off can now be directed and managed to flow out from one concentrated area, near the Ta’ Xbiex Marina into Marsamxett Port.
The 11 km underground tunnel will have 6 main shafts that are strategically located near the main tunnel to serve as entrance and exit points both during the construction and operation of this project. A total of 72 grates will also be installed throughout the whole route.
Last June, the MEPA Board had approved a further two applications related to the National Flood Relief Project, one for the areas of Qormi and Marsa and another for the area of Zebbug. These applications included infrastructural works for the reconstruction and modification of channels and bridges to facilitate the flow of storm water and so reduce the risks and consequences of flooding.
The Board also approved the landscaping works which will be carried out in the ditch below the entrance to Valletta together with some changes to the City Gate design. These design changes mainly include the slight reduction in the width of the main entrance and the removal of the belvedere which had initially been proposed to be at the top of the central monolith.
The access to the ditch level from Republic Street has also been reorganized to accommodate a different layout for the internal staircase and the lift leading to the railway.