WORK on the dualisation of the Harare-Mutare Highway has resumed with a six-kilometre stretch set to be completed by mid-February after the Government released US$5 million for the latest phase of the project.
According to the authorities, work has started on the 6km stretch from Melfort to Marondera.
The project had been put on hold due to some financial constraints.
Last year, the Government completed a 6km stretch from Goromonzi turn-off to Melfort.
Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development permanent secretary, Engineer Theodius Chinyanga, said:
“The Harare-Mutare project is a road dualisation project where we are constructing a dual carriageway.
“Earthworks are in progress. We have only resumed work and do not have completed sections for 2021.
“The target is 6km, and we have set aside US$5 million. We expect to finish by mid-February.”
The Harare-Mutare dualisation project is part of an ambitious plan to dualise the Plumtree-Bulawayo-Harare-Mutare Highway.
In terms of ongoing work, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development said stockpiling is currently in progress.
It said 200m base 1 dumping, 1 040m base 2 compaction and 8 square metres shelvert setting out have been completed, while 360m base 3 dumping is in progress.
Previously funds were allocated for some stretches of the highway, namely the Marondera to Wedza 10km stretch (US$5m), 10km stretch of the Beatrice to Mubaira Road (US$10m), 7km of the Wedza to Sadza Growth Point stretch (US$3,5m), and the 3,3km of the St Mary’s to Nhekairo Chingondo (US$1m).
The Marondera to Wedza road, which links Murambinda and Harare, is the shortest route from Harare to Murambinda and Harare to Buhera.
Earlier in February, President Mnangagwa launched a programme to rehabilitate at least 26 000km of roads across the country by year-end.
The Government committed $33,6 billion to rehabilitate the country’s roads that were damaged by rains last year.
Most of the country’s roads have outlived their lifespan and the heavy rains that the country received during the 2020/21 season worsened their condition.
Under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP), the Government has embarked on a massive
road rehabilitation and upgrading exercise.
It has committed to rehabilitating the country’s road network as infrastructural development is key to attaining an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
A Government report shows that 50 percent of targeted work has been completed across the country so far as road authorities have gravelled 70 percent of the targeted 16 284km network, and 70 percent of 556km drainage structure repairs and construction.
The report also shows that by the end of August 2021, the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (zinara) had disbursed $4,7 billion to road authorities across the country.