WINDHOEK, 02 NOV (NAMPA) -
The projected cost of constructing the B1 dual carriageway between Windhoek and Okahandja has increased by N.dollars 95 million due to changes made to the design of the road.
The road will now have two full lanes on both sides running side-by-side once the project is completed, thereby scrapping the initial converging dual and single lanes that were set to be constructed on some parts of the road.
The Roads Authority Company (RA)'s Manager for Corporate Communications, Hileni Fillemon told Nampa upon enquiry on Monday the cost of construction was initially projected at about N.dollars 240 million (N.dollars 239 710 110.27) but increased due to additional earthwork.
The total cost of the project is now estimated at about N.dollars 335 million. So far, N.dollars 209.7 million has been spent on the project, with Section Three expected to be completed by March 2016.
Fillemon further noted that there has not been a change in contractors since the project commenced, although problems were experienced with the availability of certain materials in Windhoek and obtaining approval from landowners to remove material from their land.
The problems have however been resolved and the materials are now readily available, she said. In order to upgrade some of Namibia's national roads to freeway standard, the national project was subdivided into four sections, which will be constructed in phases.
Fillemon said construction on the other phases of the national project has not commenced yet as the RA is still busy with evaluations and will announce the commencement of the construction once consultations finalised. Construction work on other sections include Section 4A that runs for 10 kilometres (km) from the Dobra River to Omakunde River.
Meanwhile, 4B covers 21 km from the Osona Military Base to the Otjiwarongo junction south of Okahandja. Section Four will continue with the freeway all the way to Okahandja, passing Okahandja via the Okahandja Western Bypass, linking the existing road to Otjiwarongo and Karibib.
In Windhoek, construction work for Section One, from the intersection of Mandume Ndemufayo Avenue and the Western Bypass T-Junction to the intersection of the Western Bypass and Sam Nujoma Drive in Otjomuise is also underway as it is currently in its design stage.
Fillemon said construction of Section Two of the road from the intersection of the Western Bypass and Sam Nujoma Drive in Otjomuise to Brakwater will soon commence, as the design of this section is underway and will cover a distance of 15km.
Section Two of the dual carriageway construction, which is already a dual carriageway between Sam Nujoma Drive and Brakwater where Section One ends, will be repaired to extend its lifespan for 30 more years.
In addition to the dual carriageway, upgrading of the Windhoek - Hosea Kutako International Airport road; Windhoek to Rehoboth road; Swakopmund to Walvis Bay road, and the Omuthiya to Ondangwa road into dual carriageways is part of the RA's national goal.
The Windhoek-Okahandja road is a crucial component contributing towards the goal of the the Walvis Bay Corridor Group that facilitates and promotes transport and trade along its corridors and is the gateway for imports and exports by landlocked countries in Southern Africa, like Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The road is also notorious as the scene of major and fatal accidents due to heavy traffic to and from the coast and northern Namibia.