Harare-Beitbridge road nears completion

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona yesterday led a delegation on a tour of the highway where he opened about 3km of dualised road, just a few kilometres from the Mbudzi roundabout in Harare.

THE rehabilitation of the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge highway is nearing completion with 465km now open to traffic while about 3km of dualised road was yesterday opened to traffic.

The rehabilitation of the Harare-Beitbridge highway and modernisation of the Beitbridge Border Post to bring in efficient systems aimed at reducing or eliminating delays, are some of the signature projects of President Mnangagwa’s administration.

Beitbridge Border Post has already been commissioned by the President and users of the busiest land border in the SADC region have commended the speed with which they were being cleared, and the ease of clearance over the festive period.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona yesterday led a delegation on a tour of the highway where he opened about 3km of dualised road, just a few kilometres from the Mbudzi roundabout in Harare.

In an interview, Minister Mhona said he was happy with the progress being made by the contractors along the road.

“We are here to witness this flagship project which is Harare-Beitbridge Road and we are at Hunyani Bridge where you are seeing tremendous works being undertaken on this particular project. And the idea is to witness and also to be in a position to supervise for ourselves so that we don’t have to wait and hear what is happening without us seeing.

“So I am glad that in terms of progress we have seen that today we have opened a 3km stretch of dualised section. But what we are going to do is to transfer the traffic to the other section so that we reclaim the existing section of the road after the tollgate. So I am happy that as we speak, after today we will be close to 465 km that we have opened within this stretch from Beitbridge and I am happy that besides the main bridges that we are talking about, we are in tandem regarding the target that we have set as a ministry to complete this entire section,” he said.

The progress made thus far means that there is just under 50km that still needs to be rehabilitated with detours being constructed to transfer traffic while works progress.

“The contractors are busy as we speak, working on their various sections and above all we are now ready for Harare-Chirundu Road which is also one of the topical roads and the road is in a sorry state as we speak. So besides this flagship project, we are not resting as a ministry,” said Minister Mhona.

Tensor Systems (Pvt) Ltd contracts manager Mr Michael Munodawafa said work was progressing well on their section.

“Today we have opened 3km of the Masvingo bound or the South Bound lane and we are hoping that by the end of November we are going to open another 5km that is of the North Bound lane which is the Harare bound lane.”          

The entire north-south corridor has been divided into three sections: the 580km Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge highway together with eight toll plazas, the 342km Harare-Chirundu highway with six toll plazas, and the 59km Harare Ring Road with three toll plazas. These tolls are what pays for the rehabilitation and maintenance of the road.

Earlier on, Minister Mhona also toured and opened to traffic a 2,5km stretch along Chitungwiza Road which was contracted to a local company, Syvern.

The company is now in the process of constructing the other section of the road up to Manyame Bridge.  

Speaking after opening and touring the road, Minister Mhona said: “Let me hasten to thank His Excellency, Cde Dr Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, our President, the visionary leader who championed the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme after having seen that our roads were in a sorry state. Because of his wise counsel, he then said let’s dedicate resources towards such a special and noble cause.”

Mrs Silvin Chiseve Musara, the owner of Syvern, said: “This road is about 6km from Surface to Manyame Bridge and so far we have done pothole patching, the other 1km is from Surface to Tilcor Road.”

She said they will start constructing the other section of the road by next week.

Meanwhile, a kombi driver, Mr Takudzwa Mudzamiri, applauded the Government for ensuring that the road was refurbished and urged the authorities to also construct speed humps to curb speeding.

Another motorist Mr Mayorson Matsivo said: “This road was in a bad state and I am happy that the Government listened to our grievances and quickly moved in to refurbish it.”

A Chitungwiza resident, Mr Tendai Sorry, said the Government should continue with the programme and also attend to other roads in and around Chitungwiza.

Another motorist Mr Malvern Madziva said: “We are very happy about the condition of the road. We have been facing various challenges while driving along the road but now it is in a good and excellent condition. It is my hope that the government will also soon move in to attend to other roads which are in a bad state.”

Herald

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