Govt goes big on road works

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - NEWS - Tan­yaradzwa Ku­taura

GOVERN­MENT will re­ha­bil­i­tate, con­struct and upgrade at least 2 000km of road in the next two months, The Sun­day Mail has es­tab­lished.

The mas­sive road works are part of a broader na­tional pro­gramme to im­prove in­fra­struc­ture and spur eco­nomic growth and de­vel­op­ment.

Since Jan­uary, Govern­ment has been con­duct­ing works on ma­jor roads and other feeder net­works in a multi-mil­lion dol­lar ef­fort to mod­ernise Zim­babwe.

Min­istry of Trans­port and In­fra­struc­ture De­vel­op­ment di­rec­tor for road main­te­nance En­gi­neer Kudzanai Chinyanga told this news­pa­per that, “Be­fore the rains, we are tar­get­ing at least 2 000km of con­structed roads.

“This is also the time for un­der­tak­ing re­seals and we are tar­get­ing 300km, but if we man­age to get bi­tu­men in large quan­ti­ties, we can do more.

“Mi­nor re­pairs were com­pleted for ma­jor bridges and we are tar­get­ing con­struc­tion of Nya­man­gura Bridge in Man­i­ca­land at a cost of $800 000, Ing­wing­wizi Bridge in Mata­bele­land North at a cost of $3,5mil­lion, Pembi Bridge in Mashona­land Cen­tral pegged at $5mil­lion and, lastly, Ka­wongo Bridge in Mid­lands, which should cost $1,5 mil­lion.”

Eng Chinyanga said re-grad­ing and re-grav­el­ling of ru­ral roads had cov­ered 1 750km by the end of June. Govern­ment plans to com­plete 2 500km of these year-end at a cost of $1,2 mil­lion.

Eng Chinyanga said road works were bet­ter car­ried out in dry con­di­tions, hence the de­ter­mi­na­tion to move with ur­gency.

“Dur­ing the rainy sea­son, there is a lot of mois­ture con­tent and this af­fects bases since bases will not achieve op­ti­mum com­paction,” he said.

“Also, binders re­quire cer­tain tem­per­a­tures for bond­ing well and this does not take place dur­ing the rainy sea­son. Be­cause of the heavy rains and flood­ing, con­struc­tion of bridges is im­pos­si­ble.”

Govern­ment em­barked on an Emer­gency Road Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Pro­gramme last year to re­cover the de­te­ri­o­rat­ing road net­work.

In the cap­i­tal, Govern­ment is help­ing the Harare City Coun­cil to con­struct and re­ha­bil­i­tate more than 70km of road be­fore the on­set of rains.

The city’s lat­est main­te­nance progress re­port shows that 48km of the tar­geted 126km had been com­pleted by Au­gust 28, 2018.

“Un­com­pleted roads stood at 54,8km, with works cur­rently in progress and a to­tal of 23,3km for new roads also in progress,” reads part of the re­port.

Job cre­ation

The mas­sive pub­lic works have been a boon for lo­cal com­pa­nies that have been roped in as con­trac­tors and sup­pli­ers for the project.

More than 4 000 skilled and semi­skilled jobs have been cre­ated so far, while 267 lo­cal com­pa­nies have been en­gaged to sup­ply ma­te­ri­als.

The tar­geted pub­lic works have also cre­ated thou­sands of jobs in both down­stream and up­stream in­dus­tries feed­ing into the project.

For in­stance, the City of Harare has con­tracted five lo­cal com­pa­nies.

Bi­tu­men World has been tasked to re­claim, spray, chip and over­lay a to­tal of 18,1km of road at a cost of $3,9 mil­lion. Fos­sil Con­struc­tion has been tasked to re­ha­bil­i­tate 8,4km at a cost of $1,5 mil­lion; while Ten­craft Con­struc­tion was ap­por­tioned 13,1km, which will cost $2,1 mil­lion to re­ha­bil­i­tate.

Tar­con Con­struc­tion will at­tend to 4,8km worth $864 000; while Truck and Con­struc­tion will spruce up 3,9km for $1,1 mil­lion.

Since cen­tral Govern­ment in­ter­vened to re­ha­bil­i­tate road net­works fall­ing un­der the purview of lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, the Fi­nance and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Min­istry - through the Zim­babwe Na­tional Roads Ad­min­is­tra­tion - has re­leased the bulk of the fund­ing.

“Zi­nara roll over amounted to $2,8 mil­lion, Min­istry of Fi­nance in­jected a to­tal of $450 000, Zi­nara bud­get for 2018, which coun­cil re­ceived, amounted to $12,9 mil­lion and coun­cil re­quested a fur­ther $4 mil­lion and $1,8 mil­lion for the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of VVIP roads and hot spots, re­spec­tively,” said the City of Harare re­port.

The coun­cil has re­quested an ex­tra $3 mil­lion to com­plete on­go­ing projects.

Govern­ment em­barked on an Emer­gency Road Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Pro­gramme last year to re­cover the de­te­ri­o­rat­ing road net­work.

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