Blantyre Residents will soon breathe a sigh of relief following news that renovations of the SOBO-HHI Road will soon be completed and open to al road users.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA) on Thursday, Spokesperson for Roads Authority (RA), Portia Kajanga, said the contractor, Top Range Civil Engineering, is currently preparing the road for priming.
"We expect the road to be surfaced by next week. Currently the contractor is preparing the road for priming," said Kajanga.
Kajanga said the rehabilitation of the road was delayed because of the underlying material on the road which is clay and not good, as it causes heaving.
"When works to rehabilitate the road commenced, it was discovered that after we removed the base and sub-base material, the underlying material was clay which is not good material because it causes heaving," commented Kajanga.
She further said they had to modify the original scope of works that required the removal of the clay sub-grade material and replace it with good gravel material.
Kajanga further said some sections with a lot of underground see-page of water had to be filled with rocks and this was done to have a strong foundation for the road.
She said the process took more time as it was not in the original scope of works.
"In addition, persistent rainfall in Blantyre City during the months of March and April further led to the delays in completing the works as the contractor could not do earthworks. especially compaction works which require the material to have an optimum moisture content for it to achieve the specified compaction level," said Kajanga.
According to Kajanga, the initial deadline for the project was March 6, 2017 which was revised to May 6, 2017 after the Roads Authority approved the Contractor's request for additional time due to changes in the original scope of works and inclement weather.