Minister of Transport and Public Works Ralph Jooma says he is excited with progress of the first phase of the new Blantyre Bypass Road.
The minister expressed the excitement on Saturday when he inspected the construction work of a 37-kilometre section at Gada Trading Centre, which is between Matindi and Lunzu in Blantyre.
This is despite that 20 percent of its timeline had already elapsed with only three percent of the physical progress.
However, Jooma expressed optimism that the $41 million (about K29.9 billion) first lot project, which started on May 10 2019 and is expected to be completed on April 10 2021, would meet the deadline.
“I am very impressed with the performance and we hear it’s only within a month after the contractor [China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation] started this construction works,” he said.
In an interview after the inspection, Roads Authority (RA) chief executive officer Engineer Emmanuel Matapa assured that the Blantyre Bypass Road has been designed to last long and meet international standard.
He said RA has put in place measures to ensure that construction of phase one of the project gives values for money.
“We have taken into consideration all the international standards and the road has been designed to last long. The pavement layer will be constructed from natural gravel with 50 millimetre Asphalt concrete surfacing because it is targeting to be used by loaded trucks.
“We have Mamodzi Consulting Engineers who have been hired solely to be here to monitor the project in collaboration with our Southern Region staff here. Be assured that there will be value for money as different technical auditors are coming also to check the project,” said Matapa.
The project started from Gada and will join the Blantyre-Zomba Road at Njuli Trading Centre to Chiradzulu Turn-off.