The Omuthiya Town Council has rejected the idea of constructing a bypass some seven kilometres south of the town. The idea was mooted by the Roads Authority as a solution to divert heavy-duty vehicles passing through the main road in the town, reduce the risk of accidents and ease traffic flow.
The Roads Authority, when proposing the bypass, said it considered the fact that Omuthiya is connected to the B1 road with a high influx of traffic flow from the central to northern areas. But there have also been a high number of road accidents at Omuthiya.
The Roads Authority made the proposal as part of a feasibility study to upgrade the portion of the B1 road between Oshivelo, Omuthiya and Ondangwa to a dual carriageway.
However the proposal was received with a backhand from the town council, which says the idea would have a negative effect on the town’s economy. This is because commuters using the B1 road usually stop over in the town. If a bypass is built then commuters would no longer stop in town to buy refreshments and other items from the open street market and other traders, the town council said.
The town council’s CEO Samuel Mbango acknowledged that the council suggested that the proposed dual cariageway pass through the town instead.
“The Roads Authhority has established an engineering committee to conduct the feasibility and design the road, and from the results we opted for the dual carriage to pass through town. We have towns like Otjiwarongo that have the dual carriageway passing through town, and nothing is wrong with that,” said Mbango.
When asked about whether the buildings that are along the road within town, which are deemed too close to the road, may be stumbling blocks in the expansion plans, Mbango assured that there is sufficient space for any expansion.
“The design is complete – we have a copy of it with us, and we are assured things will go well; we have seen it,” affirmed Mbango.
Among towns that have bypasses are Tsumeb, Okahandja and Windhoek.