Roads Authority (RA) says construction works of a K1.6 billion Chakazi Bridge in Mzimba have intensified and the reinforced concrete bridge is expected to be in use by this January.
The bridge, funded in three phases, has been receiving funding from the national budget, including K647 million plus in the 2020/19 financial year, and so far, over K1.6 billion has been disbursed for the project, according to RA spokesperson Portia Kajanga.
When completed, the bridge is expected to serve thousands of people travelling from Euthini, Mbalachanda, Bulala, Endindeni and other surrounding areas to the main market, hospital and other facilities at Mzimba Boma and beyond.
Motor vehicles have not been able to use the Kandodo Chisi-Chitapa Moyo Road that passes through the bridge which is the shortest route to and from Mzimba Boma after part of the bridge was washed away in November 2017.
Kajanga said in the interview yesterday works on the bridge were at an advanced stage, adding the only setback the project faced was delayed funding.
She disclosed the works are extensive as they also involve river training and gabion protection works as well as embankment formation on the bridge approaches.
“Construction of the bridge is being done in phases where phase I which was awarded to Kelch Construction in the 2018/2019 financial year involved bridge foundation works, including piling works at a cost of K324 199 758.97
“And phase II was awarded to Sitbec Limited in the 2019/2020 Financial Year and it involved construction of two abutments and three piers at a contract sum of K610 255 148.58.
“Phase III of the works has been awarded to Dika Construction Company to a tune of K647 009 616.36 and works will involve completing the bridge deck and earthworks for the bridge approaches,” Kajanga explained.
RA said the bridge will boost tobacco, maize, sweet potatoes and vegetable farming activities, among others. n