Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
GOVERNMENT is set to rehabilitate 10 critical roads in Bulawayo under the extended Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme Phase 2 (ERRP2), building on the momentum started last year to upgrade key infrastructure.
Government launched the ERRP 2 programme to rehabilitate roads that had been heavily damaged by rains in the past season.
The programme has rescued most local authorities as they have been failing to effectively rehabilitate roads that are now in a poor condition.
The reconstruction of roads is an economic enabler and a driver towards the attainment of Government’s Vision to achieve an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has since revealed that it will be handing over to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development some of its roads for rehabilitation.
Most of the city’s road network has outlived its life span and 70 percent need rehabilitation.
The rains that have been pounding the city have worsened the situation as most roads are littered with potholes.
Major roads such as Khami Road have become untraffickable and potholes have seen motorists incurring expenses in fixing their damaged vehicles.
Since the launch of the ERRP 2 last year, roads such as Siyepambili Drive, George Avenue, 23rd Avenue have since been rehabilitated to the joy of motorists.
More roads are targeted by Government this year with the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development driving the agenda.
According to the latest council minutes, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development has identified 10 roads that it intends to rehabilitate this year. They are Ndaba Road, Catherine Berry Drive, Nkulumane Drive, Glenville Drive, Lobengula Street, Chinamano Road, Netherby, Woodville Road and Cowdray Park-Hlalani Kuhle.
The Ministry has been involved in the rehabilitation of several roads in the city including Siyepambili Drive which has made driving on it flawless since it took over its rehabilitation.
“The ERRP2 allocation for the year 2022 was yet to be advised. It was however noted that a total of 10 roads, critical to the city had been requested by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development for 2022 budget purposes,” reads the council minutes.
In the report, council said it wants to preserve the city’s roads in a fair condition and will be attending to major roads used by public transporters and those in the city centre.
BCC said it also intends to rehabilitate other roads in the city using devolution, Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) and borrowed funds.
It intends to conduct premix overlay works, reseal works and reconstruction of roads as well as storm water drainage improvement.
Council said in-house teams as well as private contractors will be engaged in the road rehabilitation programme.
It said Zinara has allocated the local authority nearly $288 million for the road rehabilitation programme this year.
“The department intended to spend 70 percent $202 151 000 of the allocation on periodic maintenance works (i.e., reconstruction, overlays and reseals) and the remaining 30 percent $86,636,243 on routine maintenance (i.e., pothole patching, crack sealing and slurry sealing,” reads the minutes.
Some of the roads to be rehabilitated using the Zinara funds include Fairbridge Way (Philips to Cecil Drive), Huggins Road (Luveve Road to Police) Woodville Park, Luveve 5 Road, Maduma Dr (Intemba to S J Ngwenya Shops) and Murchison Road where the council will conduct overlays and reconstruction.
Council said Government allocated $442 million for road rehabilitation under the devolution funds and council intends to rehabilitate at least eight roads using the money.
The council intends to spend more than US$10 million sourced through borrowed powers. [email protected]
Article Source: The Chronicle