Mbudzi Interchange to be completed by July

06 Feb, 2024 - 14:02 0 Views
Mbudzi Interchange to be completed by July The Mbudzi Interchange, one of major entry and exit points, into and out of Harare is set for completion in July this year.

Suburban

Harare (New Ziana) -Construction of the US$88 million Mbudzi interchange, expected to improve traffic flow in the capital, is earmarked for completion by July 31 this year, a cabinet Minister has said.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona said this on Monday after touring the project, expected to improve traffic flow by upgrading the busy Mbudzi roundabout junction along the Harare-Masvingo highway to an interchange intersection involving the major roads of High Glen, Simon Mazorodze and Chitungwiza.

The project involves the construction of a three-tier grade-separated intersection with 13 major bridge structures, 14 approach roads and a diversion route of Amalinda road and its bridge. The project started in 2022 and was expected to be completed by the first quarter of this year.

Mhona said now that civil works are almost complete, the interchange project will be completed by 31 July this year, after relocation and compensation of affected property owners affected construction progress.

The Mbudzi interchange is one of the biggest construction projects in the country, and part of the key infrastructure schemes targeted by the government.

“We intended to complete by March but because of the delays of the properties and also the process of compensating owners. Come July 31st, we must be having our interchange,” said Mhona.

“Contrary to what has been said in the media that we are now two years into the project, we are only a year into the project. In terms of overall project, we are now at 55 percent considering that civil works are almost done,” he added.

Mhona dismissed reports that funds for the interchange had been looted.

“We have also been inundated with calls that funds for the project had been misappropriated. If there is any fraud, as a Ministry we will not defend any individual.

“We do not have a Mbudzi interchange fund which can be misused, we are mobilising as we go. As we speak out of 52 properties which were destroyed to pave way for construction, 42 have been compensated partially and fully (About $14.8 million), and $14.9 million is outstanding.”

He applauded the government for prioritizing infrastructure development and for availing funds for various infrastructure projects.

“Yes in terms of progress it might not be as quick as you may anticipate, but you must bear with us that we are using our own resources, which are also having competing needs,” he said.

Local Member of Parliament Tongai Mnangagwa said residents were patiently waiting for the interchange and expecting it to make their mobility easier.

“Residents were spending hours trying to pass Mbudzi roundabout due to congestion. They were even getting mugged by criminals. We commend the government of President Mnangagwa for funding the construction of an interchange to enable the smooth flow of traffic,” he said.

The Second Republic has embarked on a massive infrastructure development programme spanning several sectors, mainly transport and agriculture, using domestic resources after Western countries irked by the agrarian reforms that the government implemented blocked their financial institutions from lending and proving lines of credit to the country. – New Ziana

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