Gwanda-Beit­bridge high­way re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion to start by year end

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Richard Muponde Gwanda Cor­re­spon­dent

THE re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the 193 kilo­me­tre stretch of the Gwanda –Beit­bridge high­way is ex­pected to com­mence be­fore the end of the year. The project will cost about $46 mil­lion. The fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies and de­signs are ex­pected to be com­plete be­fore the end of the year paving way for con­struc­tion.

Gov­ern­ment is mov­ing to re­ha­bil­i­tate the road, which is the sec­ond busiest in the coun­try after the Beit­bridge- Chirundu Road.

Comesa, through the African Devel­op­ment Bank, has re­leased about $1,4 mil­lion for the fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies.

Engi­neer Bernard Musarurwa of Cas­cade Civil En­gi­neer­ing told par­tic­i­pants at a con­sul­ta­tive meet­ing held in Gwanda with ICT Con­sul­tancy of Zam­bia which was con­tracted to do the En­vi­ron­ment and So­cial Im­pact As­sess­ment for the project, that the work would be com­pleted in about two years.

“The stud­ies will end around Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber and handed over to the En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Agency (EMA) for ap­proval.

“So far we have done most of the fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies and to­pog­ra­phy of the road. We have dis­cov­ered that out of the whole stretch, 151 kilo­me­tres need to be resur­faced while 42 kilo­me­tres are to be re­con­structed by rip­ping off the ex­ist­ing tar­mac and start afresh,” said Eng Musarurwa.

“After we have handed over our stud­ies, the gov­ern­ment will look for donors or part­ners to con­struct the road. It will take less than two years to com­plete it if ev­ery­thing is made avail­able. How­ever, let me has­ten to say at the mo­ment there is no in­di­ca­tion that the donors or part­ners are al­ready there as we are still to fin­ish the re­ports,” he said.

Eng Musarurwa said if the road is re­ha­bil­i­tated it would have a life­span of over 20 years.

“If we con­struct the road it will work very well for the next five to eight years be­fore it needs to be resur­faced again. The life­span of the road is about 20 years. The work we are do­ing is back­log main­te­nance which was sup­posed to have been done a long time ago as this road was con­structed in the 1960s,” said Eng Musarurwa.

Gov­ern­ment has plans to du­alise the Beit­bridge – Vic­to­ria Falls road to ease move­ment of traf­fic into South­ern Africa.

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