Road users will have to wait up to February 2020 to start using the Area 49-Area 18-Parliament Road whose dual carriage was scheduled for completion last October while its interchange was planned for completion this November.
Currently, the contractor has only completed 3.2 kilometres (km) on the Area 49 to Area 18 section and 1.2km on the Area 18 Roundabout via Area 14 to Parliament Roundabout dual carriage and is still working on the interchange section.
The project initially included a ‘state-of-the-art’ roundabout at Area 18, but the plan was replaced with the interchange to avoid compensation costs that would have been incurred.
During a visit to the construction site on Monday, Minister of Transport and Public Works Ralph Jooma attributed the extension of the project time frame to the changes.
“The initial plan meant eating into part of the glass house and the hotel being constructed on the other side of the road and the cost of compensation would have hit over K1 billion,” he said.
However, Jooma admitted that the new plan will affect part of Chimutu Primary School where some classroom blocks will be demolished.
Roads Authority chief executive officer Engineer Emmanuel Matapa said to allow smooth operations at Chimutu Primary School, the contractor will be utilising night time and weekends.