Minister “impressed” with coastal road upgrades

Despite delays in the construction process the Minister of Works and Transport, Alpheus !Naruseb, is impressed with the progress made on the upgrades of the MR44 (behind the dunes between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay) and the C34 (between Henties Bay and Swakopmund).
“I cannot but be impressed with the progress made”, said !Naruseb on Friday on a visit to the construction sites of both these coastal roads. He was informed of some delays in the construction process, especially on the road upgrade of the C34. “These delays are as a result of the global economic trend and for understandable reasons. Yet, there has been quite good progress made and I am happy with it”, the Minister said.
According to Conrad Lutombi, CEO of the Roads Authority, the first stretch of tarmac on the C34, 17 kilometers long, will be opened during December – just in time for the festive season. The entire project from Henties Bay to Swakopmund is expected to be concluded by the end of 2019.
After the conclusion of this project, the upgrade of the Henties Bay/Uis road will commence. Ultimately the upgrade will include the road leading up to Kamanjab via Khorixas. Lutombi could not yet give a date when this project is expected to be concluded. “It is a very big project and includes 406 kilometers of road”, he said. [Once all these road projects are completed, it would be pos-sible to drive on a high quality and safe tarmac road from Walvis Bay to Ruacana].
Lutombi revealed the new road will make a sharp bend east about ten kilometers south of Henties Bay and linked via a bridge on the Omaruru River to Uis. An additional turn-off will also be constructed to provide access to Henties Bay.
Construction on the road MR44 behind the dunes is currently 30% complete in terms of total project objectives. !Naruseb was very impressed with this stretch of road’s construction progress. This road is expected to be opened in 2019. During the visit, !Naruseb was informed about a new 110-meter-long bridge which will be constructed across the Swakop River, where the current railway bridge crosses the river.
The road will connect to the B2 with a modern interchange. According to Lutombi, the inter-change will feature dedicated lanes to allow for a smooth flow of traffic to the Walvis Bay harbor when coming from the direction of Arandis. After the construction of the bridge is concluded the contractor will commence with the construction of a fly-over to facilitate smooth traffic flow on the Langer Heinrich road.
A fly-over bridge is already under construction near the current Langer Heinrich-MR44 T-junction.
Lutombi added once the MR44 has been upgraded to tarmac standard, the upgrade of the B2 coastal road between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay will commence.
This road will be widened, a pedestrian zone and a bicycle lane will be constructed. The traffic load on the B2 will be reduced and the coastal road will become a tourist route. The MR34 will become the new highway to link destinations across Namibia and the SADC to the port of Walvis Bay.
“I am very happy with the upgrade of the roads as they are inline with the Harambee Prosperity Plan”, !Naruseb said. He added this will bring Namibia closer to the goal of becoming a logistics and industrial hub, putting emphasis on the port of Walvis Bay as the preferred port in Southern Africa. “It is money well spent”, he concluded.

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