The Roads Authority (RA) has refuted claims by China Roads and Bridges Construction Company (CRBC) that water penetrating the Karonga-Chitipa road’s base is causing it to wear out faster than expected.
The government summoned the contractor to assess the road and repair it. The contractor explained on his arrival in Malawi the road is wearing out because of the water that has penetrated its base, an explanation the RA said it did not fully believe.
RA director of construction, Sam Kadangwe, said on Wednesday government, through the Ministry of Transport and Public Works, hired Central Materials Laboratory, to run “scientific tests” on the road to identify the “cause of the defects”.
“The Chinese are saying water is penetrating the base of the road, which is causing the layers to swell and weaken the road surface. That is just based on what they are seeing on the road, but we want a scientific explanation,” he said.
Minister of Transport and Public Works Jappie Mhango confirmed government will engage a local consultant to do road inspection when the contractor starts working on the road. He also said the contractor will cover the costs of the tests and repairs.
He said: “The cost of doing the job will be covered by the contractor. All we are interested in is that those sections be fixed. The contractor is already in and soon will start repairing the road.” n