A call for tender regarding the Malta-Gozo tunnel project is expected to be published within the next six months, with the tunnel is expected to be operational by around 2024, the Transport Ministry confirmed on Tuesday.
The government has submitted plans concerning the project to the EU Journal and a 'Prior Information Notice' – an official statement of intent meant to inform the EU market that a member state plans to undertake a project involving public tenders – would soon be published in the EU’s official gazette of record, Transport Minister Ian Borg said, adding that the people of Gozo had long dreamt of having such a tunnel.
The current proposal will lead to the creation of a 13km-long tunnel with a seven metre radius and one traffic lane heading in either direction, with an additional safety lane. Traffic analysts predict that around 6,500 vehicles will use the tunnel every day.
Dr Borg said the tender for the design, building, maintenance, and operation of the tunnel would be published sometime in 2019.
News of the progress on the Gozo tunnel project was welcomed by the Gozo Business Chamber, saying this was the first step leading to a permanent link between the two islands, and auguring that work would continue at a favourable pace.