THE upgrading of the road linking the Beitbridge Border Post to the junction where the roads to Bulawayo and Harare split off has been completed as the Government presses ahead with its plans to transform the border town into a modern city.
Civil works on the 5km stretch started more than a decade ago under the Beitbridge Redevelopment Programme but these were progressing at a snail’s pace owing to a number of challenges.
But the coming in of the Second Republic saw the engagement of Bitumen World to fully implement the project as it continues with its infrastructure development revolution.
Bitumen World site engineer, Mr Tinotenda Hove, said they moved on-site in November last year and that they had done more than 100 percent of the civil works on the dual carriageway.
Since the short stretch of the road has to carry all traffic going to the rest of Zimbabwe, it needs to be a dual carriageway before the traffic splits.
“We have opened the whole 5km to traffic, that is between the roads leading to Harare and Bulawayo,” said Engineer Hove.
“At the moment we are seized with ancillary works including installing streetlights, cabbing, paving, and sprucing up the two traffic circles.
“The two unique traffic circles will have Great Zimbabwe Monument conical towers at the top which will be six metres high and six metres wide.”
Eng Hove said although the dual carriageway appeared to be shorter, it took much time to complete because there are lots of critical service accessories cutting through the road.
During the construction phase, the contractor had to work with other stakeholders to avoid disrupting telecoms, electricity, water, and sewer reticulation.
Eng Hove said they were now working on underground stormwater drains and 18km of kerb stones on the dual road and the pedestrian walkways on either side of the road.
“The cabbings are for preventing trucks from moving out of the highway. We have put 18km of kerbing we are laying on the dual carriageway and we are almost done,” he said.
“At all major junctions and traffic circles, we put interlocking pavers instead of concrete which help with the turning effect of heavy vehicles and diesel spillages.
“Since we came here, we realised there were trucks queueing for more than 2km from the border, so we had to put a third lane on the design, which will have interlocking pavers to accommodate heavy trucks. Ancillary works will be completed by mid- October.”
On the Beitbridge-Masvingo highway construction, Eng Hove said out of 120km allocated to his company, they had done 75km and were expecting to wrap up the project in December this year.
Bitumen World has three teams working from the north and south of the road to speed up the earthworks.
Motorists and other road users from Beitbridge yesterday commended the Second Republic for the completion of the dual carriageway access road using local financial and human resources.
“I applaud the Second Republic for speedy and timeous implementation of projects in our town. A road that took many years to complete has been done in a short space of time and with high standards of work.
“I would like to thank the leadership of President Mnangagwa. Vision 2030 is on the course,” said Mr Remember Ndou.
Miss Evelyn Jegede said the community was happy that more projects within the border town were being completed.
Beitbridge East legislator, Cde Albert Nguluvhe, whose jurisdiction covers the town, said Government was delivering on its pre-election promises and that a lot of infrastructure development was being carried out across Beitbridge.
Miss Fadazi Muniya also said: “As residents of Beitbridge, we applaud the completion of the dual carriageway. Previously, we used to have problems with traffic jams.
“That road stretch is one of the busiest parts which accommodates all types of vehicles coming into Zimbabwe from South Africa or those that are southbound. This is a huge development for the Beitbridge community and Zimbabweans. We applaud the Government for such a development.”