GIS – 1 July 2013: The Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Public Infrastructure, National Development Unit, Land Transport and Shipping, Mr. Anil Bachoo, inaugurated this morning the diversion road linking Higginson Road, Quartier Militaire to Valetta, via two new roundabouts. He was accompanied by the Minister of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment, Mr. Suren Dayal and the Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr. J.I.M. Seetaram.
The construction of this new road of 2.1km length, of 7.4 m width with hard shoulder of 1.5 m on both sides, allows road users to bypass the narrow village of Quartier Millitaire. The bypasses at Valetta and Quartier Militaire are hence now opened to the general public as diversion roads. This will allow the contractor to continue the works in the villages of Valetta and Quartier Militaire respectively without creating inconveniences to road users.
According to Mr. Bachoo, this bypass will contribute to the relief of traffic congestion in the region, and will greatly enhance access for road users from Higginson to Valetta, allowing for a time gain of 15-20 minutes during peak hours. “Despite all criticism, the Road Development Authority has done an excellent job and I am fully satisfied. This is a region where there is a lot of rain, but despite this, the works are of very high quality”, he said. For Mr. Dayal, this project presents many benefits to road users and inhabitants. “By bypassing the Quartier Militaire village, where the roads are narrow and traffic and movement are hectic, this road will give easier access to Valetta”, he stated.
The cost of the whole project linking Providence to Wooton is to the tune of about Rs 926 million, and is being funded by the World Bank. Sinohydro Corporation Ltd is the contractor and the works are supervised by the Road Development Authority. Nevetheless, the bypasses at Valetta and Quartier Militaire will still be under minor works such as landscaping and grassing, fixing of permanent traffic signs and clearing works. Consequently temporary signs have been fixed and also speed limit is fixed at 40 km/h. All necessary precautions should be taken by the general public while using the above mention roads.
The upgrading of the existing B6 Road and provision of bypasses at Valetta and Quartier Militaire will result in several benefits, according to the engineers who have worked on the project. Such benefits include large savings in operating cost of vehicles, significant decrease in travel time as well as a reduction in number of accident and therefore saving in accident cost, reduction in traffic congestion in existing road, and enhancements in road safety from the reduction in level of conflict between pedestrian and vehicular traffic. The whole Wooton – Providence project will be ready by the end of September 2013, according to engineers.
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