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Study points to Gozo tunnel route preference

The various route options including option four, which appears to be the preferred one.

The various route options including option four, which appears to be the preferred one.

A feasibility study on the Malta-Gozo tunnel has pointed to a proposed route with entry and exit points west of Mellieha and below Nadur as the preferred option.

The route was one of four options originally presented by Mott MacDonald in a report commissioned by Transport Malta in July 2011 and published a year later.   

The latest feasibility study was commissioned by Transport Malta and Gozo Business Chamber ahead of a geological study which will be made next year.

The newspaper Illum quotes Michael Grech, president of the business chamber as saying that the proposed tunnel will consist of a single tube, 11km long and 100 metres below sea level between Ta' Xhajma, below Nadur, and Ic-Cumnija in Mellieha.

The tunnel needs to be 100m below sea level because of the presence of clay for the first 30 metres.

Ta' Xhajma is close to the Gozo horse track while Ic-Cumnija is close to the sewage treatment plant in otherwise untouched countryside just before Marfa ridge.

Members of the Chamber and Transport Malta recently visited Norway where they toured various underwater tunnels. 

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