Gumbo tours Norton dualisation project
By Nyemudzai Kakore
Government has completed dualising of a section of the Harare-Bulawayo Road between the Norton turn-off and the Norton tollgate at a cost of $19 million. The section, which is about 15km long, is expected to be opened to traffic in two weeks’ time.
In an interview during a visit to the site where road surface markings were being drawn, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo said the road will be opened after final touches on the surfacing of the road are complete.
He said works on the road over rail bridge will commence after the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe approves the tender.
“This is a project being undertaken by Government. So far we are dualising this 15km section from Norton to the tollgate but it will stretch to Kadoma. We are undertaking the project bit by bit because of the lack of finances. Treasury gave us $19 million, which we have used to dualise this section at a cost of approximately $1,1 million per kilometre,” he said.
Minister Gumbo said Government had opted to use the Department of Roads to dualise the road.
He said funds permitting, Government has the capacity to dualise all the roads in the country
“The quality of the road that has been constructed here is impressive and this only shows us that if we have our own resources we can construct our own roads. This can be done by approaching local banks, companies and individuals that are able to invest in big Infrastructural projects,” he said.
“We are doing it slowly but surely as a Government. It is not Group Five doing it. We hope that we will dualise the whole road, resources permitting.
“We can save foreign currency because if we are to bring companies from outside, the cost of the roads will be too much. It is important that we have confidence in ourselves.”
Minister Gumbo said his ministry was undertaking similar projects countrywide following the recent commissioning of the Mutare section.
Minister Gumbo added that other roads to be rehabilitated and dualised include the Harare-Nyamapanda, Bulawayo-Nkayi, Bulawayo-Tsholotsho, Kwekwe-Nkayi-Lupane, Murambinda- Berchinough and Buchwa-Rutenga-Sango roads.
“We are doing quite a number of roads throughout the country. With the new political dispensation, which has opened Zimbabwe to the outside world, we can safely say that we can get the funds because at the moment there is some relaxation from our financial institutions who are willing to fund our roads,” he said.
Department of Roads director of operations Engineer Kudzanayi Chinyanga, who is overseeing the project, said the road over rail bridge will take approximately four months to complete.
He said the constructors were using asphalt concrete on the roads, which is durable. The Herald