US$900 million has been reserved for Zimbabwe road construction projects as the country moves to restore and resurface over 161 km of roads for the Road Development Programme.
This marks the most significant progress in the past two decades to reverse the decay of the country’s road infrastructure. The Zimbabwe road construction projects aim to construct trafficable world-class roads for public convenience and to boost economic activity.
So far, significant headway has been made in all the country’s eight rural provinces for projects that had been planned for this year according to a report compiled by the Department of Works, which falls under the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development.
In Mashonaland Central, the laying of asphalt over the 2,7-kilometre stretch of the Bindura-Mt Darwin-Mukumbura road has been completed. Construction on a 16km stretch of the Mt Darwin to Mukumbura road is now 78 per cent (12,8 km) complete, while 80 per cent has been covered on the planned 10km stretch of the St Albert- Dotito road. The laying asphalt on the Guruve-Kanyemba road is halfway through completion. Another great accomplishment the country has seen is the completion of the Norton road-over-rail bridge, which will be commissioned soon along with the dualisation of the Harare-Mutare road managed to cover 11km of the planned 16km.
Tensor Systems, Masimba Construction, Fossil Contractors, Exodus and Company, and Bitumen World are the five contractors who have been allocated 20-kilometre stretches each at various sections of the $1 billion Chirundu-Harare-Beitbridge road.
Over 30 workers from surrounding communities were engaged, while various services have been outsourced from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and artisans — carpenters, plumbers, welders, auto-electricians — from Ngundu and Maringire shopping centres and as a result, the downstream benefits of the project have started to filter to the local people.
Initially, Geiger International, an Austrian company, was awarded the tender for rehabilitating the road which was meant to begin in 2016, but endless delays forced the Government to cancel the tender.
Overall, Government plans to upgrade 781km of Zimbabwe’s road network, re-gravel 483km and construct 22 bridges.