Zim roads, bridges have outlived lifespan: Govt


GOVERNMENT has admitted that most of the country’s road network and bridges have outlived their lifespan, and are now a threat to the public.

This was said by Transport and Infrastructural Development ministry secretary Theodius Chinyanga in a presentation at the Africa Infrastructure and Construction Confex at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) on Thursday.

The theme of the two-day conference was: Solid Foundation Stronger Future: Exploring Linkages in the Infrastructure Value Chain.

“Zimbabwe boasts a road network length of some 98,049km; 25,034km — District Development Fund; 18,431km — Department of Roads; 40,205km — Rural District Councils; 11,333km — Urban Local Authorities 3,046km — unclassified. Several roads and bridges along the country’s road network have since outlived their design life,” Chinyanga said.

“Constricted fiscal space has limited Government spending on road maintenance, resulting in a huge road maintenance backlog.”

In 2021, government launched the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP) after President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared the country’s roads a national disaster.

The Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) has distributed an estimated $6 billion to all provinces and local authorities for road maintenance under ERRP in the first quarter of the year.

Zinara said it was setting aside $17 billion for the ERRP this year.

“Road Development has been slow, leading to a huge road infrastructure backlog. The 2016/17 Road Condition and Inventory Survey showed that only 25% of the entire road network was in a good to very good condition,’’ Chinyanga said.

“The overall road development plan is aimed at addressing the road infrastructure backlog through the Road Development Programme, complemented bythe Road Maintenance Programme.’’

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