The area around Malta’s iconic Porte des Bombes is to get a massive makeover as well as new pedestrian subway.
It will replace the old 1960s underpass which currently connects four of the busiest bus stops on the Maltese public transport network.
The new subway will include a café, public toilets, bike racks and other modern facilities.
Malta’s transport minister Ian Borg said: ‘Infrastructure Malta has launched a project in Floriana that will give a better and more secure environment to the hundreds of commuters who wait for the bus there every day.
‘We will be building a new subway that will be accessible to everyone, with stairs and lifts to cross from one side to another without delay or danger.’
A spokesman for Infrastructure Malta said: ”The new subway will have a 12-metre wide, naturally-lit walkway, public toilets, an open space that can be used as a café for passengers who change buses in this area, as well as a bicycle parking area.
‘It will provide quicker, direct connections to the four bus stops in this area with pathways, stairs and elevators to be accessible to all.’
The upgrade will eliminate the limitations of the existing links between the four bus stops, which include a narrow pedestrian underpass with long, steep ramps and blind corners.
The new subway will not be in the same location as the existing one, which is a distance away from the bus stops, but will be right beneath two of them and next to the other two.
In the proposed design, elevators and a short flight of stairs behind the newly installed bus shelters will connect the westbound bus stop on National Road to the subway beneath.
At the other end, the subway will have a wide opening facing Independence Road, which connects the Sa’ Maison area of Msida with National Road and St Anne’s Street through an underpass and four slip roads.
The northbound bus stop in Independence Road and the eastbound bus stop on National Road will be connected to the subway through elevators and stairs as well.
A spokesman for Infrastructure Malta added: ‘The proposed café incorporated in the subway’s public space will provide improved catering facilities to hundreds of bus passengers who stop in this area during their daily commutes, as well as a convenient meeting point in this intersection between many bus routes.’
The project will also include new night lighting as well as CCTV for increased pedestrian safety.
The iconic 1960s vaulted bus shelters will be protected and incorporated as part of the project.
Infrastructure Malta said it has submitted the proposed subway plans to the Planning Authority so that they can be published for public consultation in the coming weeks.