“We are currently looking at a number of options between King's gym and Chrissy Tomblinson roundabout and one of the considerations is having a flyover and then also having pedestrian bridges”
Edward Howard, NRA Director
(CMR) A flyover at the Grand Harbour roundabout is among one of several options being considered by the National Roads Authority (NRA) to help assist pedestrians and traffic flow in that highly congested area it was revealed on Thursday morning.
The suggestion has been proposed over the years by residents in the area and should be included in the results of a traffic study to be released soon. The NRA director, Edward Howard, shared that it is being considered to deal with the concerns raised by residents. Possible solutions should be made available for public distribution in the next six to eight weeks.
However, the proposal comes with several challenges which have to be carefully considered. The topic came up on Thursday's TCHT show, where the NRA joined as guests.
Howard noted that the NRA is well aware of the issues with balancing the flow of traffic in the Grand Harbour area as well as allowing for safe pedestrian solutions to be implemented. One possible solution is to implement a pedestrian flyover or overpass that would enable pedestrians to cross that area safely. But this solution also comes with its only unique challenges.
CMR understands that a traffic study has been completed and should be published soon. That traffic study will assist in determining what options would be best suited for that area. The traffic study should include looking at the flow of traffic in and out of the area and also how to reduce traffic accidents.
The study will also review whether or not the traffic light that currently allows traffic to come out of South Sound should be continued or if traffic should be redirected through to the Old Crewe Road area. The installation of time lights was also mentioned as a possibility that would be explored.
One of the challenges to adopting a flyover is that in order to allow for the support beams to be installed, the main road would actually lose two lanes. He noted that land availability remains a major issue:
“We are going to increase the capacity of that road to six lanes, but if we were to do a flyover it would mean that we would have to eliminate at least two to be able to put the support structure for the flyover. So you don't just have a road suspended in mid-air.”
He also shared that this would be a major construction project that requires drilling some 30″ into the ground. He noted that this is a multi-year project and would take at least 5 years to be able to put in place. Also, the question of where would all of that traffic go during the construction phase is a major consideration.
NRA board chairman, Alric Lindsey, shared that:
“This is among a number of options being addressed in the traffic study being completed for the NRA. Prior to implementation of any option, the results of the traffic study will be shared with the public for their feedback.”
The Grand Harbour area has seen considerable growth in recent years with a number of new condo developments in the area, as well as a new business complex next to Grand Harbour, which has led to the NRA trying to find a solution for increasing road capacity in the area whilst also making it safe for the people that live in that immediate area. Howard acknowledged that this main road is the “only means of access to get east” and “this one is a challenge for us.”
Howard acknowledged the need for a solution but also noted that the role of the NRA is closely took at solutions that can be implemented and reviewed the practicalities of any suggestions.
He noted that a competent engineering firm was helping with the traffic study.