By John Nhandara
Eleven out of 13 bridges under construction at the Mbudzi Traffic Interchange are at various levels of completion as the project gathers pace.
The bridges under construction include four road-over-road bridges, one road-over-river bridge and box culverts which are part of the project’s structural works.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Honourable Felix Mhona, who went for an assessment tour at the construction site this Wednesday, was unequivocal on how the traffic interchange and the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway will be critical components in enabling an efficient transport network.
“Out of the 13 bridges we have, we have witnessed tremendous progress. The Second Republic under President Mnangagwa emphasised the need to move with speed in partaking in this project. End of next year, we will be done with this project. It will then buttress and support the good road network we are constructing from Beitbridge to Harare,” said the minister.
The magnitude of the project resonates well with the country’s National Development Strategy One’s thrust on the development of a sound infrastructure.
The chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Chairperson on Transport and Infrastructural Development, Honourable Oscar Gorerino said, “Since 1980, this is one of the major projects that we have witnessed and the good thing is it is being done by our local contractors and the work is quality and standard.”
A commercial lane linking surrounding suburbs to the Mbudzi Market Mall is also under construction, with the locals hopeful the project will transform their vicinity for the better.
“So, this bridge here which is 95 per cent complete is part of the access road to the mall for communities like Hopley, Stoneridge and traffic from Chitungwiza road without actually getting into the main interchange road,” explained Engineer Sitandane Hokonya, TEFOMA quality control manager.
Meanwhile, Government has disbursed funds for the compensation of those with properties that were affected by the interchange project.
Government has already concluded modalities of compensating 46 property owners out of the 51 who had title deeds.