The Government of Zimbabwe first invited for bids for the dualisation of the Harare – Masvingo – Beitbridge Road in 1998, and in 2003 the project was awarded to the consortium of 6 local contractors and 6 local engineering firms under the name of ZimHighways. The downturn in the economy precluded implementation of the BOT build operate and transfer concession.
Several other attempts at implementing the project were made, including a revival of the engagement of ZimHighways, and other prospective developers like Gieger. In all these efforts, as presented in the 2013 feasibility study, whilst dualisation of the Harare – Masvingo – Beitbridge Road was economical viable with a positive IRR internal rate of return on the investment, the traffic volumes are too low for a self-financing arrangement through tolling.
The Second Republic made the decision to use local engineering expertise and local construction capacity, with wholly local funding. The proof of success of the strategy is now there on the ground for all to see. The road is being widened to 12,5 m wide with 2 lanes of 3,75 m width and 2,5 wide surfaced shoulders. The pavement has a minimum of 4 layers comprising 150 mm each lower and upper selected subgrade layers, a 250 – 300 mm cement stabilised insitu subbase recycling or virgin gravel , a 150 G1 crushed stone aggregates base layer, with 40 mm AC asphaltic concrete surfacing. The geometric design has been improved to 120 km where possible or at least 100 km/ hr in difficult terrain design speed, all in accordance with the SATCC Southern Africa Transportation and Communications Committee standard specifications adopted for regional trunk roads in the SADC Southern Africa Development Community.
The Second Republic must be commended for making the conscious decision to invest in infrastructure, which includes the Harare – Masvingo – Beitbridge Road project; this will improve the movement of goods and people, that will stimulate economic growth, and offer employment to locals and skilled workers from around the country.
On behalf of the Project Engineer, and the 5 Contractors who are engaged on the Harare – Masvingo – Beitbridge Road project, we wish to thank the Government for having the faith in us, and for giving us the opportunity to showcase and prove our capabilities. We implore the Government to continue funding the project to its logical conclusion of rehabilitation and upgrading the whole 580 km from Harare to Beitbridge.
For more details please contact Engineer Ben Musarurwa +263772438657