Govt launches $1,7m major roads conditions survey

GOVERNMENT yesterday launched a $1,7 million National Roads Conditions Survey, the second such exercise since 1999, in a bid to improve the state of the country’s roads.

Source: Govt launches $1,7m major roads conditions survey – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 22, 2016

GOVERNMENT yesterday launched a $1,7 million National Roads Conditions Survey, the second such exercise since 1999, in a bid to improve the state of the country’s roads.

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU/ MTHANDAZO NYONI

The exercise, wholly funded by the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (Zinara), will run for nine months.

Speaking at the survey launch in Bulawayo, Zinara acting chief executive officer Moses Juma said it was difficult for the authority to timely rehabilitate or maintain the country’s roads in the absence of critical data required to determine the “structural integrity, distresses, skid resistance and overall quality of the road pavement”.

“There have been various figures flying around as the cost of rehabilitation of the country’s total road network. Most of these figures have had no scientific background due to the lack of a National Roads Conditions Survey,” he said.

“Zinara has been making disbursements, but the challenge has been that we have been flying a plane without a radar.”

He added: “We have prescribed the wrong solutions to what we thought could be the problem. Without a National Roads Conditions Survey, it is almost impossible to meaningfully make an impact on our roads. This is why where an intervention that could be a total rehabilitation of a section, you find someone carrying out pothole patching, which is unsustainable as resources are always directed to addressing a symptom than the real issue in the form of periodic maintenance.

“It is this survey that is the right antidote needed to determine the road network rehabilitation requirements and costs required thereof.”

He said the expected outputs of this survey would determine the actual percentage of roads in poor and good condition, and the percentage of drainage or bridges in good or poor condition.

Juma said international financiers for road works wanted credible data of the entire road network, but Zimbabwe was not in a position to provide such “due to lack of an up-to-date road survey”.

Speaking at the same event, Transport minister Joram Gumbo said government needed to undertake the survey regularly for planning purposes, adding this was necessary to boost economic activity.

Zinara board chairman Albert Mugabe said: “Our road maintenance programmes were ad hoc. This national road survey will present us with results from which we will be in a position to systematically attend to maintenance and rehabilitation of our roads. With the results of this survey, we anticipate that we will be in a position to improve our road network.”

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 4
  • comment-avatar
    Joe Cool 6 years ago

    I already have the answer for them: the percentage of roads in poor condition is 100, and the bridges not far behind.

    However, it’s good to see a scientific approach being taken to dealing with potholes (distresses?). Skid resistance is currently high, as potholes have a seriously retarding effect on forward motion.

    If ever there was a country that relied on 100% talk and 0% action, this has to be it.

  • comment-avatar
    mandevu 6 years ago

    the reality is that the $1.7 million that they are spending is actually the only money they have left – so don’t expect anything to happen after the “survey”

    • comment-avatar
      Fundani Moyo 6 years ago

      This is just another gimmick of looting. That money could have been spent on some road improvements, but all they know is to write one “thesis” after another. Does anyone ever hear them talking of ZIMASSET anymore? These ZANU people are useless paper tigers with nothing concrete for outcomes.

  • comment-avatar

    hope they do something with that money and not misplace it like the other lots of money they have misplaced