More toll gates for highways

Motorists should brace for increased costs of using the country’s major roads as authorities step up efforts to add more tollgates on at least 18 roads.

The plan follows a major road rehabilitation and upgrade project set to begin soon and encompass the construction of tollgates to recoup the money spent on the roads.

Government recently called for expression of interest from local and foreign companies eager to conduct feasibility studies on the roads as well citing areas to erect the toll gates.

Roads to be rehabilitated include Bulawayo-Airport, Bulawayo Victoria Falls, Kwekwe-Nkayi Lupane, Buchwa- Rutenga and Rutenga Boli-Sango.

Other roads include Mberengwa–West Nicholson, Karoi-Binga-Dete, Golden Valley–Sanyati– Kuwirirana-Nembudziya, Plumtree–Mphoengs and Bulawayo-Nkayi road.

Government will also rehabilitate the roads linking Bulawayo-Tsholotsho, Harare Drive Ring Road, Birchenough Bridge, Harare-Bindura, Murambinda-Birchenough, Gwanda-Tuli, Mt Darwin-Mukumbura, Mvurwi-Guruve-Kanyemba and Plumtree-Maitengwe.

Permanent Secretary for Transport and Infrastructure development, Engineer.

George Mlilo said feasibility studies would inform where the toll gates will be erected.

“We have written to companies requesting their participation under the Operate Build Transfer (BOT) model.

“They will have to do feasibility studies for the rehabilitation as well as to see where they can put the toll gates,” he said.

“After the feasibility studies that is when they will know where the toll gates will be erected.

“Of course not all of the roads will have toll gates however most of them will.”

Eng Mlilo said Government was looking at expanding the Build Operate Transfer model to various areas of transport infrastructure.

“Following President Mnangagwa’s position that the country is now open for business, the Ministry of Transport has also opened opportunities for people who want to invest in infrastructure development,” he said.

“A case in point is the Bulawayo–Beitbridge railway line. There are other railway lines that we want partnerships which include the Chitungwiza–Harare railway line and the Lions’ Den railway line.

“We have airport developments like Buffalo Range, Kariba Airport and Masvingo.

“Whilst we are talking of construction of airports, Government is considering opening up monopoly of the airspace in Zimbabwe.

“We want to improve our transport infrastructure by entering into partnerships with private companies.”

The country is currently working on a national transport master plan aimed at expanding the road, air, inland water and railway system.

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