The completion date of the dual-carriage freeway of trunk road 9/1 and trunk road 1/6 between Windhoek and Okahandja has been extended due to obstructions faced by contractors which have resulted in the contract amounting to N$299m rather the initial N$239m.
The construction which commenced from the 13th January 2014 is now expected to be completed in 19 months’ time rather than the initial 15 months predicted.
Roads Authority (RA)’s Chief Executive Officer, Conrad Lutombi attributed the delay to several factors that affected progress such as the issuance of Work Visas for key personnel on the project as well as the late arrival of earthmoving equipment.
The rationale behind the rehabilitation of the road emanates from certain factors such of congestion on the road during peak hours.
“Too many lives have been lost in vehicle-vehicle and vehicle-pedestrian collisions as a result of the existing problem of limited passing opportunities on this road. The extension of the current freeway and upgrading therefore to a really or full freeway standard as high mobility system with well-controlled and safe accesses to and from this system will largely solve the above problem and ensure safety for both motorists and pedestrians,” he said.
Concerning the communities living around the earthwork area, Lutombi noted that, “Almost no challenges have been experienced so far expect for the relocation and compensation of the mixed settlement North East of the project area. However, the Roads Authority is currently negotiating and liaising with all affected and interested parties in order to resolve the matter,” he said.
He added that, “As far as accommodation of traffic is concerned, few deviations will be required during the execution of the project as traffic will largely be kept on the existing road as far as possible. The RA is also alive to the environmental requirements and obligations to which it is positively responding through relevant channels. The Contractor (Aveng-Grinaker LTA (NAMIBIA) Pty Ltd) and Consultant (VKE Consulting Engineers) will continue to engage the affected communities in order to attend to all issues raised in order to find an amicable solution.”
Despite all the challenges Lutombi said work is progressing well with earthworks and roadbed preparation advancing steadily.
“The Contractor’s site office, workshop and Engineer’s offices are now complete. Casting of foundations for the Dobra south interchange have commenced and progressing in accordance with the programme.”
He added that, “It should be noted that even though the works appear to be behind schedule when measured against the initial programme, with the approval of Key personnel Work visas for the Contractor and the establishment of more equipment to site, the Contractor will catch with critical items in due course and therefore, there is all likelihood that the project will complete on time as planned.”