The Government has gone overdrive on repairing roads and bridges under the second phase of the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme launched by President Mnangagwa this year, a Parliamentary committee heard.
With a budget of $33,6 billion and the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) already disbursing $2,3 billion, 165km of road have been rehabilitated throughout the country, while pothole patching has covered 7 515km, Secretary for Transport and Infrastructure Development Engineer Theodius Chinyanga told the Parliamentary Committee of Transport and Infrastructure Development.
Besides the actual roads, 333 drainage structures have been repaired while 42 gulleys have been reclaimed under the programme to slow or prevent further damage.
“More improvement is expected in the immediate term as a number of procurements are being concluded and works starting under various road authorities,” he said.
“Government is also exploring ways of augmenting its pursue in order to achieve more than originally targeted and prevent further deterioration of roads and bridges.
“Several roads and bridges around the country have outlived their design life and are showing signs of distress evidenced by heavy potholing, cracking and rutting among other failure modes. Most of these are now in need of rehabilitation and reconstruction. The poor conditions have also been exacerbated by the above normal rains that were received.
Commenting on the capacity of the VID to monitor vehicle loads, with overloaded vehicles a major contributor to road damage, Eng Chinyanga said Government has in terms of the Trade Measures Act now had 27 fully functional weigh bridges countrywide.
“We have weigh bridges at VID depots and border post coordinating axle load control by manning the highways against overloading. This way any suspected vehicle overloads are referred to the nearest depot for weighing and thus far has worked well to reduce damage to the road network,” he said.