Blantyre City Council (BCC) has said the dual carriageway from Clock Tower to Kameza Roundabout in Blantyre will need an additional K6.5 billion for the construction of a railway overpass at Chirimba.
BCC deputy director of engineering services Sekani Gondwe said this yesterday when President Peter Mutharika toured the road project and other projects in the city.
He said the dual carriageway project, which missed its deadline in March this year, has been facing numerous challenges including broken water pipes due to vibration of heavy duty equipment used in construction work.
Said Gondwe: “The road was supposed to be completed in March, but challenges like water leakages from Blantyre Water Board pipes which are near or under the road due to vibration of the equipment, and electricity poles and cables, the work has delayed. Added to this, the contractor has had to remove all equipments and its staff from the site for their safety each time there were demonstration, further delaying progress.”
However, he said 92 percent of the project has been completed.
“What we are only remaining with is the contsruction of the suspended concrete railway overpass structure at Chirimba which will require K6.5 billion. The road will be fully opened on October 26,” said Gondwe.
In an interview after the tour, Mutharika expressed satisfaction with the progress of the road, saying the construction work is of good quality.
He warned contractors against substandard work.
Said the President: “I am so glad to see the work that has been done. It’s high quality work we were expecting from this contractor. Any contractor now who does substandard work, I am not going to pay them until they redo their work.”.
Mutharika also condemned the demonstrations which are being led by Human Rights Defenders Coalition to force Malawi Electoral Commission chairperson Jane Ansah to resign for allegedly presiding over flawed elections.
He said the protests are affecting the country’s development.
Mutharika said he has a vision for the commercial city to have a 20-storey building near Sunbird Mount Soche as well as an overpass from the Clock Tower to traffic lights on Victoria Avenue all the way to the hotel and back to the Clock Tower to reduce traffic congestion in the city. As part of his tour yesterday, the President visited the new Chinese Hotel project at Chichiri, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regional offices at Sunnyside, and Blantyre Market.