THE Road Development Agency (RDA) has signed two contracts for the construction of the Mufuchani Bridge in Kitwe at a cost of about K63 million and the upgrading of Monze-Niko Road in Southern Province to bituminous standard at the cost of K230 million.
RDA signed the contract with China Henan International Cooperation Group Company limited for K 62,783, 327.46 for the construction of the Mufuchani Bridge.
The agency has also signed a contract with Unik and Buildcom as a joint venture for the upgrading of approximately 74 Kilometres of the Monze-Niko Road in Southern Province to bituminous standard at a contract sum of K229, 969, 699.96.
RDA chief executive officer Bernard Chiwala said during the signing ceremony that the construction of the Mufuchani bridge would be funded by the World Bank and executed within 18 months, while upgrading of the Monze-Niko road in Southern Province would be funded by Government and would be executed within 24 months.
Mr Chiwala said the two projects had immense benefits to the country as the bridge would allow for the expansion of Kitwe eastwards and trigger economic activities like farming and construction.
"The bridge would open up the area to investments in these sectors, also provide alternative link for traffic to and from Ndola and beyond the two cities, as well as create job opportunities for the people in that area," Mr Chiwala said.
Mr Chiwala said the Monze-Niko road project would enhance agricultural activities for the people of Monze and Namwala and the whole Southern Province.
"The road once completed would also ease the movement of people and various goods and services, as well as reduce vehicle operation cost associated with a poor road network," he said.
He said contractors were expected to mobilise and move to their respective sites within three months from the date of signing of contracts.
The projects are part of the Link Zambia 8000, a project whose object was to open up connectivity through provincial and international linkages, reduce poverty alleviation through job creation and enhanced agriculture marketing.