6 December 2012

Namibia: Roads Authority Expands Road Network

THE Roads Authority has embarked on extensive road projects in the Oshana Region with the rehabilitation and construction of the Okandjengedi and Ongwediva bridges.

These bridges will be widened and additional lanes will be added, enhancing safety and facilitating the flow of high-volume traffic between Ongwediva and Oshakati.

This is revealed in the RA’s 2011/2012 annual report.

“The rehabilitation of these infrastructures is part of our quest to expand our road infrastructure and, more importantly, to facilitate the acceleration of efficient rural-urban interaction, thus creating a platform for the country’s sustainable development,” said the RA’s acting chief executive officer, Conrad Lutombi.

Although the need for road maintenance is widely recognised, it is still not carried out adequately because of insufficient funding.

“If roads are repaired promptly, the cost is usually modest. If defects are neglected, an entire road section may fail completely, requiring full road reconstruction at approximately three times the average cost of maintenance,” Lutombi said.

He added that the goal of maintenance is to preserve assets, not to upgrade them.

In this regard, the RA has started with the tarring of the MR 125 road between Liselo, Linyanti, Kongola and Singalamwe in the Caprivi Region.

“This is in addition to many other labour-based projects we have started in various regions,” Lutombi added.

“The upgrading of MR 125 is one of our biggest projects to date and it is being constructed at a total cost of N$800 million. The construction of Gobabis to Otjinene is going well and it will be completed in this financial year.”

During the 2011/2012 financial year, about 1,7 million kilometres were completed.

A successful trial run was executed utilising a grader monitoring system.

This system will be used within the newly developed GU Development Contracts system that helps nominated SME contractors to own a road grader after a five-year period. The monitoring system will ensure compensation for work done.

“A total distance of 337 km of road was re-gravelled, which represents an increase of 17 percent compared to 288 km of the previous year. This was achieved with four GRUs (gravel resurface units) within the entire Namibia. Two additional GRUs were appointed at the end of the financial year, totalling six for the country,” said Lutombi.

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