Rumbidzayi Zinyuke Manicaland Bureau
Construction of the Mutare bypass road, designed to allow traffic to get to Forbes Border Post without going through the city centre, has been put on hold to pave way for other priority projects.
The bypass road has been on the cards for some years and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development was planning to court partners for its construction.
Manicaland provincial roads engineer Atherton Zindoga said the main reason for creating a bypass was to ease traffic flowing through the city, which was damaging the roads.
“That project has been put on hold for now as we direct funding to other priority road projects,” he said. “We will start looking for investors for the bypass road at a later stage, but for now, the Christmas Pass Road is still in good shape to handle the amount of traffic that passes through.”
Eng Zindoga said contrary to the belief that the increase in accidents occurring along the Christmas Pass were caused by the road or terrain, 90 percent of the accidents were due to human error.
He said Christmas Pass was built to withstand the traffic and would suffice as the sole route in and out of Mutare for many years to come.
“Many people believe that accidents that occur in the pass are caused by the road,” he said. “The bypass road will not in any way reduce accidents, but what we want to achieve is to reduce the number of heavy vehicles passing through town and damaging those roads. The road that goes over Christmas Pass was built to international standards and it is one of the safest roads in the country.”
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