Linking up Namibia

Road construction and upgrading projects in the Erongo region are moving ahead, despite a number of challenges.

17 March 2019 | Infrastructure

Conrad Lutombi; Roads Authority CEO; “Phase I of this project is 60% completed . . .”

Swakopmund • Otis Finck

The minister of works and transport, John Mutorwa, and the deputy minister of national planning, Piet van der Walt, conducted site visits to various ongoing road construction and upgrading projects funded by government between Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Henties Bay earlier this week.

Contractors explained that the high salt content of the environment and the fact that water from the desalination plant used in the construction process is 600% more expensive as some of the challenges they are facing. They also mentioned that the long distances between towns make the construction of roads an expensive exercise.

Roads Authority CEO Conrad Lutombi accompanied and updated the minister and the deputy minister on the progress of the roads construction process.

Lutombi said the Swakopmund Walvis Bay road project which involves the upgrading of the existing salt-gravel road behind Dune 7 to freeway standards (dual carriageway) was scheduled for completion by 31 March 2020.

“Phase I of this road is 60% completed and a 24.1 km stretch of surface road on the southern bound carriageway has been opened to traffic. There are 312 workers currently employed on the project of which 30 (10%) are female.”

He emphasised that once completed the freeway will improve road safety and promote economic development. It will also contribute to the NDP-IV desired outcome 6, of developing Namibia as a logistics hub for the SADC region.

Phase 1 runs from TR 2/2 up to Farm 58. It includes the construction of a 30 km dual carriageway freeway with two interchange bridges on the MR52 and TR 2/2 as well as two bridges over the Swakop River.

The Swakopmund via Henties Bay, Uis, Khorixas and Kamanjab road upgrade to labour based or bitumen or freeway is due for completion by October 2020.

The project scope consists of work on the MR (Main Road) 44 and the MR 76 stretch from Swakopmund to Henties Bay (MR 44) along the western coast of Namibia to Uis with the MR 76 onto Khorixas and ends at Kamanjab in the Kunene region.

The total length of the project is 402 km. It is divided into 2 Phases. Phase I starts from Swakopmund to Uis via Henties Bay and is 186 km.

Phase I is subdivided into 2 sections consisting of Section A (90 km) from Swakopmund to Henties Bay along the MR44 and Section B (96 km) from Henties Bay to Uis along the MR76.

“The construction of Section A started in 2016. The Contractor for Section A is the Roads Contractor Company (RCC) while the contractor for Section B has not been appointed yet. Phase I Section A of the project reached 60% completion. To date, 65 km of surfaced road has been opened to traffic. Two hundred and eighty seven workers are currently employed on the project of which 28 (10%) are female.”

According to Lithombi the completed road have a riding quality of 98% which indicates the construction process it is of exceptional standard.

Phase II which covers a stretch of 220 km also consist of two sections. Section A (105 km) runs from Kamanjab to Khorixas along the MR76. Section B (115 km) stretches from Khorixas to Uis along the MR76.

The consultants for Phase II have been appointed. The contractors for both sections of Phase II have not been appointed yet. The design for the whole road from Swakopmund to Kamanjab has been completed and construction of the remaining three sections will only commence once funds become available.

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