Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Major road rehab projects begin in Bulawayo

by Staff reporter
14 Jun 2022 at 06:33hrs | Views
A massive rehabilitation of critical roads is set to begin in Bulawayo under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme Phase 2 (ERRP2), as the Government presses ahead with efforts to improve roads across the country.

The roads earmarked for rehabilitation in include the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road from Masotsha Ndlovu Avenue to Glenville Drive in Richmond suburb, a 5km stretch along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge Road from Ascot Shopping Centre and another 6km along Cecil Avenue.

Lady Stanley Avenue will also be rehabilitated.

Tensor Systems (Pvt) Ltd which is also involved in the rehabilitation of the Beitbridge-Harare road has been contracted by Government to carry out the roadworks.

The Government launched the ERRP 2 programme to rehabilitate roads in cities and towns, which had been heavily damaged by rains in the past season following failure by local authorities to maintain the roads. Driving along the potholed roads had become a nightmare for motorists.

The programme has rescued most local authorities as they have been failing to effectively rehabilitate roads that are now in a poor condition. Treasury and the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) are jointly funding the roads rehabilitation programme.

The reconstruction of roads is an economic enabler and a driver towards the attainment of the Government's Vision to achieve an upper middle-income economy by 2030.

Provincial roads engineer for Bulawayo and Matabeleland North, Engineer Stephen Kamutema said they are expecting the delivery of equipment within the next two weeks ahead of the commencement of the actual works.

"As Department of Roads, we are the implementing agency while the contractor is Tensor Systems (Pvt) Ltd, one of the companies contracted in the ongoing Harare-Beitbridge Road. We have put a notice, marking the beginning of the whole process and as I speak there is a lot of planning and mobilisation of equipment including setting up the site office," he said.

"In the next two weeks we are receiving the equipment to start the actual road works. The stretch that we will be working on along the Victoria Falls Road is 5KM from Amakhosi Theatre turn-off to Victoria Falls Garage."

Eng Kamutema said under the programme, they are also rehabilitating 6km along the Cecil Avenue including a section covering 5km along the Beitbridge-Bulawayo Road.

 "Part of the section of the Bulawayo-Beitbridge Road that we will also be doing under the same programme covers 5km from Ascot to Puma Service Station. We are doing the road in terms of the Sadc standards just like in the case with the Beitbridge-Harare Road," he said.

Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has since put a notice advising road users of the temporary closure of Lady Stanley Avenue and a section of the Victoria Falls Road stretching from Masotsha Ndlovu Avenue to Glenville Drive starting on July 27.

According to the notice, the roads will be closed for a period of six months starting from June 27 to allow the contractor to carry out construction works. During that period clearly marked diversion routes will be created along the closed sections of the road.

"The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development through the Department of Roads, is carrying out Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme Phase 2 (ERRP2) in line with Statutory Instrument 47 of 2021. The Department of Roads hereby advises members of the public that Tensor Systems (Pvt) Ltd will be carrying out road rehabilitation and widening programme on Lady Stanley Avenue and Victoria Falls Road from Masotsha Ndlovu Avenue to Glenville Drive," read the notice.

"The road will be temporarily closed from 27th June 2022 for a duration of six months to allow safe construction work.

"The diversion routes will be provided and clearly marked along the closed sections of the road."

Government has set aside $33,6 billion for the second phase of the ERRP, after the declaration of the country's road network as a state of disaster in February last year.

Most of the city's road network has outlived its life span and 70 percent need rehabilitation. Council says 75 percent of the city roads are in poor condition and require at least US$700 million for road rehabilitation. Bulawayo has approximately 2 400km of road network.

Since the launch of the ERRP 2 last year, roads such as Siyepambili Drive, George Avenue, 23rd Avenue have since been rehabilitated.

More roads are targeted by Government this year with the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development driving the agenda.

Last month, BCC said it was allocated about $300 million by Government under the ERRP2. The local authority intends using 70 percent of the allocation on periodic maintenance while the remaining 30 percent will go towards pothole patching, crack sealing and slurry sealing.

In January, BCC spokesperson Mrs Nesisa Mpofu said owing to the rains, they had suspended the maintenance works due to wet ground with the exception of minor storm water drainage works.

She said the road works would resume as soon as the rains subside.

Last month, BCC came under fire for failing to fully utilise more than $625 million allocated by Government under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme 2 (ERRP2) resulting in delays in the implementation of road projects in the city.

Under the ERRP2, council is supposed to rehabilitate 10 roads this year which will be funded through the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development.

They are Ndaba Road, Catherine Berry Drive, Nkulumane Drive, Glenville Drive, Lobengula Street, Chinamano Road, Netherby, Renkini Road, Woodville Road and Cowdray Park-Hlalani Kuhle.

Council also intends to rehabilitate at least nine roads which include Fairbridge Way (Phillips Dr to Cecil Avenue), Huggins Road (Luveve Road to Police), Woodville Park Road (Harare Road to the first curve), Luveve 5 Road, Maduma Drive (Intemba to S J Ngwenya Shops) and Murchison Road (scone to Adair Drive).

 Contacted for comment yesterday, Mrs Mpofu had not responded to questions emailed to her over council's plans to rehabilitate its share of the roads at the time of going to print.

Source - The Herald