RA starts Windhoek- HKI Airport road phase 2A
By Hilary Mare
THE Roads Authority (RA) has commissioned the commencement of construction of phase 2A of the Windhoek to Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) road to dual carriageway (freeway) standards.
This Phase consists of 19.5 kilometres of dual carriageway that will include three interchanges and two river bridges. The scope of works starts at Auasblick and ends near Kapps’ Farm: on the eastern side of Windhoek, towards the HKIA. The construction period for this phase is projected to last for a contract period of 42 months at a total estimated cost of N$950 million.
The project is funded by the Government through a loan from and by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Confidente understands that at least 400 Namibians will be employed on this project.
Commissioning the project this week, John Mutorwa, Minister of Works and Transport highlighted that commencement of construction in this road project has great significance to the Government, as it signifies and portrays a national commitment and determination to provide a world-class road infrastructure that serves the needs of the Namibian people.
“With the commissioning of the new container terminal at the Port of Walvis Bay which took place in August this year , Namibia is well on its way , to becoming a leading logistics hub in Southern Africa. Thus, I am happy to note here that the completion of this dual carriageway (freeway standards) will improve our links to the wider SADC Region via our major freeways. This dual carriageway (freeway standards) will support the economy by allowing quicker and alternative movements to and from the capital, to the rest of the country.
“This project again as per Vision 2030, NDP5 and the HPP; forms part of the prioritized Harambee Prosperity Plan Projects, and more importantly, it forms part of the SADC Trunk Road Network, which supports trade seamless movement of people and goods; within the SADC region and beyond!,” Mutorwa said.
The expansion of the Hosea Kutako International Airport, which as per cabinet’s decisions is currently underway to deal with the congestions and will result in an increase of traffic on this road. Thus, once completed, this road will ease the flow of traffic, from the airport and it will enhance road safety.
Mutorwa went on to note that upon completion, this road will most certainly experience a significant reduction in road accidents, especially head on collisions, which have claimed many lives on national roads.
“The completion of the entire Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport road will divert heavy traffic e.g. trucks, out of the City, along a bypass system. It will minimize the costly damage to the streets of the City and will also significantly reduce congestion in the streets of Windhoek.”
This publication is also reliably informed that Namibian SME contractors will be appointed for a number of smaller construction works amounting to the value of approximately N$80 million.
Councillor Joyce Namuhuja who was speaking on behalf of the Khomas Regional Governor, Laura McLeod-Katjirua highlighted that there is a dire need for enormous infrastructure development to enhance connectivity for national development and promotion of investments opportunities which will ultimately better the living standards of citizens.
“I therefore deem it appropriate to congratulate our Namibian government for the strategic and comprehensive or multi -pronged approach and continued dedication to road infrastructure development for us to witness this second phase of the Windhoek Hosea Kutako Airport road today. I am confident that the completion of this Windhoek -Hosea Kutako Airport road will make a lot of headways and the true results and benefits will be visible and tangible in due course.
“You will agree with me that the completion of this road will improve our local traffic continuity and congestion as well as the effective and efficient operations of all the Windhoek-Hosea Kutako Airport connecting roads networks. It will also promote business, trade and economic activities which will be more beneficial to all the inhabitants of Khomas region, tourists and visitors,” she said.
Namuhuja further stated that roads infrastructure upgrading programme also conforms to Government commitment to reposition national strategies and programmes to harness the opportunities of the 4th Industrial Revolution in terms of synergies, efficiencies and access to regional and international markets.
“On this happy and joyous note, I sign off by also seriously reminding our communities to continue to own and see them as part of this national project. I humbly request you to be on the outlook and vigilantly guard this project and it’s commencing operations against any vandalism, theft and any obstruction which might derail actual completion of the national project,” extended Namuhuja.
The Contractor on this project is Avic International Project Engineering while the Consultant (Consulting Engineer) is VKE Namibia.
Road Authority CEO, Conrad Lutombi also underscored the importance of the project and noted that the organisation was happy that processes towards commencement of Phase 2B will also be finalised in the coming weeks so that construction of Phase 2A and 2B would run concurrently.
“This Phase is important and we are going to ensure that there is local participation. In fact we have reserved from the total spend of the project a substantial amount that will be for auxiliary works which will be given to locals to benefit. There will be Namibians who will subcontract on this project.
“The idea is that the project be run by Namibians. Only key staff will be employed from outside but these positions will be advertised and those who come from outside will only be given 6 months Visas while we look for local replacements,” Lutombi said adding that the economy runs on wheels and the importance of this project was that it would play a pivotal role in the logistic hub dream.