Despite critics’ stance that the Henties Bay-Uis-Khorixas-Kamanjab road is a non-priority, the Roads Authority (RA) says the route is a priority as it forms part of critical infrastructure that need attention during the four-year period to 2020, as outlined in the Harambee Prosperity Plan.
Opponents say the Karibib-Usakos road is more a priority as it has claimed many lives due to its narrow design with its many sharp curves, than the envisaged Henties Bay-Uis- Khorixas-Kamanjab road upgrades.
They also complain there are too many trucks travelling to and from the coast on the Karibib-Usakos road, which is hazardous due to its constricted design that limits space for other motorists.
But RA chief executive officer Conrad Lutombi says the Henties Bay-Uis-Khorixas-Kamanjab route is a priority as it forms part of the Trans-Kunene corridor.
“If you go to the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) there are six projects listed. It’s a Harambee road. That road is part of Harambee that has to be completed by 2020,” Lutombi said.
According to HPP the upgrading of the Swakopmund-Henties Bay-Kamanjab road to bitumen standard will go beyond the Harambee period.
However, Lutombi admitted that currently there is no funding for the project, as the Uis to Kamanjab road was not budgeted for.
But he explained they will only commence with upgrades once funds are available.
“It will be the shortest route once it’s upgraded to bitumen standard – I am sure it will be the shortest for most heavy trucks and traffic to travel through Uis-Kamanjab, that are currently travelling from Oshikango driving all the way to Otjiwarongo via Omaruru to Swakopmund. To us it’s quite a very important link,” he said.
He said it will also feed the southern part of Angola, adding it will serve as a cross-border route. Lutombi said no contractor has yet been appointed for the project.
Regarding the Karibib-Usakos road, he said this section is currently under design but no contractors have been appointed as well.
RA will appoint contractors once funding is available from government.
He reiterated the Karibib-Usakos route is also a priority.
“It appears on our priority list. We are engaged with designs. We hope to complete the detailed design by next year March. Once we have money, we would like to commence with the extension of the two plus one from Karibib to Swakopmund. It’s a very important route. It forms part of the Walvis Bay Trans-Kalahari Corridor,” he further stated.
HPP highlights that the upgrading of the Karibib-Usakos-Swakopmund road to a two plus one cross-section road will commence during the Harambee period and completion is expected after 2020.
Lutombi said a section of the Usakos-Arandis-Swakopmund road was advertised for detailed design and the RA is currently evaluating the submitted consultancy tenders.
About the Swakopmund-Henties Bay road, he said the contractor on the project is RCC/Zhongmei Joint Venture. The contract amount is N$758 million and is 90km. He added that the contractor has completed 20 percent of the road inclusive of establishment. The project is expected to be completed in March 2018.
Regarding the Swakopmund-Walvis Bay road, he said the project is 44km and is being constructed by Unik/Thohi Joint Venture at a cost of N$958 million and is expected to be completed in January 2019.
“The contractor reduced his production rate due to late payment of advance payment. The RA is in the process of making the advance payment. Work continues. The Consultant is VKE Consulting Engineers,” he said.
Other road upgrades expected to be carried out during the Harambee period include the Windhoek-Okahandja road to dual carriageway, scheduled to be completed by December 2019, upgrade of the Windhoek-Hosea Kutako International Airport road to a dual carriageway by December 2019 as well as the upgrade of the Omuthiya-Ongwediva road to dual carriage.
Work on this project is expected to start during Harambee, but will only be completed after 2020.