THE 180 kilometres Solwezi-Chingola road being constructed at a cost of K1.4 billion will be commissioned in August this year, Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development Ronald Chitotela has said.
And Mr Chitotela said the works done on the road so far have reduced time spent to connect between Solwezi in North-Western Province and Chingola on the Copperbelt from six to two hours.
The road comprises three sections being constructed separately by China Geo, Swift and Buildcon construction companies.
Speaking when he inspected progress on the road on Saturday, Mr Chitotela said Government has so far paid K190 million in total to all the three contractors working on the road and there has been tremendous progress since last August.
“So you can see the commitment we have put to fulfilling President Lungu’s pronouncement that North-Western Province is turned into the new Copperbelt. He said we should make sure the road is ‘motorable’ so that we do not disrupt any economic activities between the province and other parts of the country,” he said.
Mr Chitotela said the project has a one-year liability defect aspect, compelling the contractor to maintain any damages on the road for that period.
He said Government is looking forward to the road being upgraded into a duo carriageway to further reduce congestion.
And Road Development Agency resident engineer K.V Krishna Reddy said works have currently stalled because of the rains.
Mr Reddy said contractors are, however, using this period to prepare construction material and crushing all aggregates.
“They will resume works vigorously but so far, we have done 25 percent of works on lot one. We are on 35 percent for lot two and 22 percent for lot three, respectively,” he said.
North-Western Province Minister Richard Kapita said the road will help reduce high road carnage that has been experienced over the years.
Mr Kapita thanked President Lungu for fulfilling his campaign promise to the people of North-Western Province.