Bulawayo Provincial Development Coordinator (PDC) Paul Nyoni, says about 12 roads in the city will be repaired within the next two weeks, as the government tries to rehabilitate the bad road network before the rainy season starts.
This comes after the government launched the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme 2 (ERRP2) where Bulawayo was allocated more than $625 million for the rehabilitation of its estimated road network covering 2 460km.
The Bulawayo City Council is on record saying that 70 percent of its road network has outlived its lifespan and needs reportedly about US$700 million whereas the government had set aside $3.5 billion for the ERRP2 to focus on repairing damaged roads, routine maintenance and rehabilitation across the country.
Speaking at a residents consultative meeting at the Large City Hall, Friday, Nyoni, said more than 60 roads in Bulawayo needed attention and cited that delays had been caused by procurement processes.
The PDC further promised that road works on 12 roads will start within this week.
“I can promise you, it’s not the Town Clerk saying this, so you can quote or misquote me, there will be activity on more than 12 roads within a week or two because the contractors have now been engaged,” Nyoni noted.
“It took that long so there will be 12 to 13 roadworks going on at the same time as we try to meet the deadline which is the rainy season.”
Nyoni said the road works was an ongoing exercise that would stretch to 2023.
The town clerk Christopher Dube said, “This is a government programme, we know as council something as being done somewhere. We can give you the roads that have been done so far. There are some roads to be done before the programme ends and is likely to end around October. Those people who will be responsible for the programme are going to give you feedback.”
The Central Mechanical Equipment Department (CMED) was reportedly already working on roads targeted under the first phase which include Siyephambili Drive covering a 16,3km stretch from Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road turn-off to the Bulawayo-Plumtree Road in Belmont and various sections along 4th Avenue and 8th Avenue, Fife Street, Samuel Parirenyatwa, Lobengula and Herbert Chitepo Streets and Matopos Road.
The major roads to be rehabilitated under ERRP2 include Fife Street (Masotsha Ndlovu Avenue to 23rd Avenue, 4,1 kilometres), Luveve Road-arterial (Lobengula Street to Nguboyenja Avenue, 2,1 kilometres), Luveve Road-arterial (Nguboyenja to Siyephambili drive, 4,7 kilometres), Waverly Road (Sixth Avenue Extension to Khami Road, 1,7 kilometres), Matopos Road (23rd Avenue to Leander Avenue, 2,5 kilometres) and Matopos Road (Leander Avenue to City boundary, 2,9 kilometres).
Others include; Nketa Drive-major collector (Hyde Road to Emadibheni Road 2,1 kilometres), Nketa Drive-major collector (Hyde Park Road to Khami Road 1,1 kilometres), Coghlan Avenue (George Avenue and Cecil Avenue, 2,8 kilometres), George Avenue (Gwanda Road to Harare Road, 2,4 kilometres), Dundee Drive (Plumtree Road to Matopos, 2,9 kilometres), Cowdray Corridor (Railway line to Cowdray Park service station, 2,9 kilometres), Doncaster Road (Bristol Rd South to 23rd Avenue, 1,09 kilometres and Josiah Chinamano 14th Avenue to Halifax Road, 2,9 kilometres.
The first phase of road rehabilitation under ERRP2 started on April 14 and was expected to be completed by July 16, 2021.