N$400m already spent on Windhoek-Okahandja road upgrade

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Edgar Brandt

Windhoek-The Roads Authority (RA) has to date spent N$400 million on the upgrading to a dual carriageway of the Windhoek-Okahandja road.

The RA commenced with the construction of section 3(a) of the massive project, covering the road from Brakwater to the Dobra River, in January 2014, which was completed in December 2016.

The total cost of the project is approximately N$1.3 billion and the RA will announce the cost of section 4 (b) once a contractor has been appointed.

“We are currently busy with section 4 (a) which involves the rehabilitation and upgrading to a dual carriageway of the road from Dobra River to the Omakunde interchange (close to Osona Military Base). The project is progressing well (38 percent progress). The envisaged completion date for this section is January 2019,” explained RA spokesperson Hileni Fillemon.

Section 4 (b) of the enormous road upgrade will continue from the Omakunde interchange and will end at the Okahandja interchange, where a T-junction connects with roads leading to Okahandja, Swakopmund and Otjiwarongo.
“The Roads Authority is very happy with the progress made on this project thus far. We are looking forward to the successful completion within the specified period. We would like to appeal to the public to pay special attention to road signs on the section that is currently under construction. Please reduce your speed and adhere to the indicated temporary speed limits,” Fillemon cautioned.

A recent report in The Namibian newspaper stated that companies whose machinery and equipment are standing idle on major road construction sites can demand almost N$300 million from government for costs incurred while no work was being done. However, Fillemon yesterday said the RA has thus far paid nothing in penalties for delayed payments to contractors on the Windhoek-Okahandja road upgrade.

A RA presentation apparently stated that the parastatal submitted a road-building budget of N$5.3 billion for medium to long-term projects, but only received N$949 million from the government this year, leaving a shortfall of over N$4 billion.

“The effects of the largely reduced budget would mean that contractors have to cut on contractually agreed production, some down to a mere 18 percent. This would be a major challenge since the contractors in general have 100 percent of the contractually required capacity of equipment, staff and material on site,” the RA said at the time.

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