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The initial works on the deplorable Gumare – Sepopa road project is currently awaiting a proposal from the contractor on the feasibility of the method to be used.
This was revealed by the Minister of Transport and Public Works, Eric Molale during the groundbreaking ceremony of the project on Wednesday. Molale said the initial works were to provide an asphalt overlay on the road including the pre-treatment works that would include pothole and edge repairs, removal of vegetation on the pavements, road marking, installation of road studs and construction of by passes.
Molale explained that the overall objective of the maintenance of the road is to provide all the necessary revamping to enhance safety and reduction of vehicle operating cost.
“We have been wondering whether this approach is the right one and how long it will last us. Our material test reports have shown that the underneath layer along the entire Sehithwa – Mohembo road is very weak,” Molale noted.
Molae added that they want to widen the width of the road and use an alternative method that would extend the life of the road. He said they are also looking into cold recycling the in-situ material and stabilising it where necessary to reach the desired strengths.
“Unfortunately, the asphalt overlay cannot start until we are sure of which method is suitable for use. This exercise needs to be completed as soon as now as any delay will result in the delay of the main works.”
Meanwhile, Molale has indicated that since December last year, the contractor has been patching potholes with stabilised gravel as they could not leave the potholes open, but had to keep the road passable. He added that they are also expecting the contractor cover the same potholes with bitumen.
Bango Trading has been awarded the tender at the tune of P110 594 150.68 and the project which commenced in November last year is scheduled to run for 15 months ending in February 2024.
“This end date is for the original scope and if any changes are to be effected, the project may finish earlier or even a bit late depending on the change of scope,” Molale concluded.