Bridge Construction Gets Underway

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By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK The eagerly awaited construction of the Hochland Road Bridge across the Western Bypass will get underway during the second half of March this year. The City of Windhoek has set aside N$10,5-million for the project. The realisation of the bridge construction comes after the City Council awarded the tender to the Namibia Construction Company (NCC). The bridge should drastically reduce the high number of road accidents experienced frequently along the Western Bypass. At a media briefing yesterday, the Manager of Corporate Communications Ndangi Katoma said its construction was delayed for some years due to financial constraints. However, the City of Windhoek has now approved the infrastructural development and made funds available in the current financial year. “This bridge will connect Rocky Crest development with the rest of the city and more importantly, close the temporary access which became a major contributor to this portion of the Western Bypass being declared as a high accident zone,” he explained. Over the years, it has become apparent that the high influx of people into the city gave rise to the need for serviced land for residential purposes. In addressing the city population growth challenge, the Windhoek City Council approved the development of the Rocky Crest Township in 1991. With this development, a temporary access leading into the township was provided through the Western Bypass, while the construction of a bridge over the western bypass was planned as a long-term solution. However, since then, it was discovered that the Western Bypass route has become a high-risk accident zone. Measures aimed at reducing the speed limit were instituted and since then, there has been a reduced number of fatal road accidents. Construction includes the realignment of Hochland Road between Hendrik Witbooi Drive and Long Island Street with new intersections as well as new access to and from local streets to Concordia College. The auxiliary works such as by-passes and the relocation of services have already started before the actual construction of the concrete bridge over the Western Bypass commences during the second half of next month. Katoma said a total of 50 locals would be employed during the contract period, while small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMEs) would also be subcontrac- ted for the latest development.