The Sunday Mail
More than 2 000 urban and rural roads stretching over 10 000km will undergo reconstruction under the ongoing Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme 2 (ERRP2) this year.
Government has set aside $17 billion for the roadworks programme, which will be undertaken primarily by the Department of Roads (DoR), local authorities and the District Development Fund (DDF).
Much of the works will entail rehabilitation of damaged roads, asphalt overlay, pothole patching and resealing.
Additionally, the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) will advance about $16 billion to road authorities under a separate road rehabilitation programme, as authorities heighten efforts to modernise the country’s road network.
Under the ERRPs, about 500km of road network in major cities and towns will receive attention after Government took over roads from urban local authorities which had neglected the roads for years.
Transport and Infrastructural Development secretary Engineer Theodius Chinyanga said this year’s programme will prioritise the rehabilitation of emotionally significant roads
“Initially we wanted $30 billion, however, due to budget constraints, we had to cut the budget by almost half,” said Eng Chinyanga.
“However, we will prioritise our major roads and continue from where we left from last year.
“We will mainly cover pothole patching in urban areas as well as resurfacing of areas that have been excessively damaged over the years.”
In Harare Metropolitan province, 45 roads stretching around 108,5km have been identified for immediate attention.
Roads such as Tynwald-Westgate, Central Avenue, Simon Muzenda and arterial roads in suburbs that include Braeside, Dzivaresekwa and Budiriro will receive attention.
In Bulawayo Province, 40 roads stretching over 250 km are set to receive pothole patching and resurfacing. New roads will be constructed in Cowdray Park’s Hlalani Kuhle area project which had no properly constructed roads for years.
Other major roads such as Lobengula Street, which connects the central Bulawayo to several residential areas in the city, Khami Road and Herbert Chitepo Avenue will also receive a facelift.
About 32 roads around the city will receive pothole patching and crack-sealing touch ups.
In Manicaland province, the Government plans to finance the rehabilitation of 3 165 km of road network in rural and urban areas.
Significantly, a 120km stretch along Murambinda- Birchenough road will be graded.
Currently, the road is unnavigable during the rainy season as a result of neglect.
Forest Hills Resort Road in Nyanga, Bundu Road in Chipinge and Sakubva commuter roads in Mutare have also been selected for rehabilitation.
In Mashonaland Central, the Harare-Bindura-Mt Darwin-Mukumbura road will be rehabilitated, while parts of the Harare-Shamva and Rushinga–Chimhanda roads are set to be reconstructed.
In Mashonaland East, a tranche of $1,7 billion will be directed towards the programme, with roads linking Skyline and Mubaira, Mutoko and Nyamuzuwe, Kotwa Growth Point roads and Kakonde set to be gravelled.
In Mashonaland West, Alsaka-Copper, Karoi-Binga, Kadoma-Mamina, Golden Valley-Sanyati and Banket-Raffingora roads will be regraded.
Masvingo province will receive $1,5 billion for the reconstruction, rehabilitation and gravelling of over 100 roads, while Matabeleland North will receive a tranche amounting to $1,6 billion for roads including Kamativi- Binga road, Bulawayo-Victoria Falls and Bulawayo-Lupane roads.
Matabeleland South will receive a similar amount for the grading and regravelling of Old Gwanda road in Matobo, Gwanda-Tuli road in Beitbridge and Gwanda-Kezi road in Gwanda among other roads.
Midlands Province will receive $2 billion to work on over 150 roads.
The ERRP, which commenced last year, will run for 36 months.
The modernisation of the country’s road network is at the centre of the infrastructure, utilities and digital economy cluster of Zimbabwe’s medium-term economic programme, the National Development Strategy 1.