11 Jun 2014 18:50pm
WINDHOEK, 11 JUN (NAMPA) - The upgrading of the road between Windhoek and Okahandja to freeway standards is progressing well.
Construction is now focussing on earthworks and roadbed preparation.
This was publicly announced by the Chief Executive Officer of the Roads Authority, Conrad Lutombi as he briefed the media on the progress of the road construction project at Brakwater on the northern outskirts of the capital on Wednesday afternoon.
The contractor's site office, workshop and the engineer's office are now complete. Casting of foundations for the Dobra south interchange has commenced and is progressing in accordance with the project's programme.
It should be noted that even though the work appear to be behind schedule when measured against the initial programme, with the approval of key personnel work visas for the contractor and the establishment of more equipment to the site, the contractor will catch up in due course and therefore, there is all likelihood that the project will be completed on time as planned, explained Lutombi.
He noted that at this stage the only constraints which affected the progress of the project was the issuance of work visas for key personnel on the project as well as the late arrival of equipment and erection of the prefabricated office units of the personnel.
Almost no big challenges have been experienced so far except for the relocation and compensation of the Mix settlement north-east of the project area. However, the Roads Authority is currently negotiating and liaising with all the affected and interested parties in order to resolve the matter amicably, said Lutombi.
He noted that as far as the accommodation of traffic is concerned, some few deviations will be required, but the traffic will largely be kept on the existing road as far as possible.
Lutombi said the RA is also alive to the environmental requirements and obligations to which it is positively responding through the relevant channels, and the contractor and the consultant will continue to engage the affected communities in order to attend to all issues raised in order to find an amicable solution for the benefit of all.
This project to upgrade Trunk Road 1/6 between Windhoek and Okahandja to a dual carriageway is estimated to cost about N.dollars 1.5 billion.
It will be 78 kilometres long and has been divided into four subsections which will be completed over a period of five years.
Section One will entail the construction of a second carriageway between Auas Road and Main Road 52 along Sam Nujoma Drive in Windhoek.
Section Two will entail the rehabilitation of the current dual carriageway from Windhoeks Sam Nujoma Drive to Brakwater.
During Section Three, the current Western Bypass will be extended northwards from Brakwater to the Döbra River.
Construction work for Section Three has also commenced.
This section is approximately 10 kilometres long, and begins at the end of the existing dual carriages up to Dobra River bridge at Okapuka.
Section Four will continue with the freeway all the way to Okahandja via the Okahandja Western Bypass, linking the existing roads to Otjiwarongo and Karibib.
VKE Namibia has been appointed as the consulting engineers and Grinaker LTA as the contractor.
It is estimated that between 250 and 350 workers will be employed on Section Three.
The contractor will only be allowed to use non-Namibians if there are no Namibians available with the required experience or skills.
Lutombi said improving the road between Okahandja and Windhoek would reduce road congestion and accidents, and will increase Namibias competiveness as the gateway for imports and exports by landlocked countries in southern Africa.
He then strongly urged people involved in the project do their best to ensure that the final product complies with the highest standards of quality.