Works on Marsaskala Bay’s breakwater and nearby quays completed

Infrastructure Malta completes €1.9 million reconstruction of Marsaskala Bay's breakwater and quays

The completed works of the Marsaskala Bay
The completed works of the Marsaskala Bay

Marsaskala Bay has been given a €1.9 million facelift as Infrastructure Malta (IM) announced the completion of the investment project.

This initiative involved the comprehensive reconstruction of the aging breakwater and adjacent quays situated in the inner region of Marsaskala Bay.

Transport minister Aaron Farrugia, along with parliamentary secretary for EU funds Chris Bonett and parliamentary secretary for fisheries Alicia Bugeja Said, jointly unveiled the successful culmination of this effort during an on-site inspection.

The first phase of the project involved the revitalisation of 140 meters of quays bordering San Ġorġ Street, a popular location for both residents and visitors of Marsaskala, known for swimming and seaside strolls.

Years of exposure to the sea's erosive forces had eroded the quays' foundations, leading to cracks and deterioration in the concrete surfaces. In certain areas, sections of the quays had even collapsed into the sea.

To address these issues, IM undertook a complete reconstruction, introducing a new design that incorporates a protective wave wall. This barrier not only safeguards pedestrians but also provides a shield against the battering of rough seas for nearby structures.

The subsequent stage of the project encompassed the refurbishment and reconstruction of the 80-year-old breakwater, a key component that shelters this portion of Marsaskala Bay.

While the subsea framework of the outer half of the 30-meter breakwater remained intact, the inner section had suffered significant disintegration and gradual deterioration.

To counteract this, a team comprising of builders and divers dismantled the impaired portions, leveling the seabed using sizeable precast concrete blocks.

These blocks were then filled with concrete, fortified by the embedding of 16 concrete piles that reached depths of up to three stories. The result was the creation of a new concrete deck complete with an upgraded wave wall.

In addition, safety enhancements such as ladders and navigational aids were integrated to benefit mariners.

"Investment in our marine infrastructure is critical, especially when considering that we are an island state,” Farrugia said. “This sector is crucial in strengthening and ensuring our country’s competitiveness and economy.”

Bonett emphasised the significance of this project, facilitated by the European Fund for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (EMFF 2014- 2020), a funding source that enabled Malta to allocate approximately €23 million toward the fishing industry and coastal communities.

"This project, together with the upgrading of the other two fishing ports in Marsaxlokk and Mġarr (Gozo), emphasise the government’s promise towards providing a more sustainable future by making use of EU Funds to increase flexibility for fishermen and improve operational efficiencies in these designated ports," Bonett said.

Bugeja Said highlighted the far-reaching benefits of this infrastructure overhaul for Marsaskala's fishing community. "The breakwater will provide fishermen better access to their vessels as well as provide further shelter to all boats anchored in this harbour, thus providing added peace of mind to their owners.”

“Government is committed to continue investing in our harbours’ infrastructure as our vision is to keep supporting and providing assistance to fishermen. Thanks to today’s investment, as well as previous ones such as the installation of new electricity and water pillars, and the maintenance of our winch rooms, we will ensure that this vision becomes a reality," stated Bugeja Said.