By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
THE upgrading of the over US$3 billion Mansa-Luwingu Road in Northern Province is scheduled to be completed by end of next month, says the Road Development Agency (RDA).
The contract to upgrade the road was awarded to China Henan International at a contract sum of US$310,795,882.71.
According to RDA acting chief executive officer, Nchimunya Mulusa, works on the project were on-going with 94 percent physical progress achieved.
Mr. Mulusa said the road, which was the main access to Chipili district was scheduled to be completed by February 21, 2018.
“The 10 kilometres that are being done now is part of the Mansa-Luwingu US$242,000 road contract, a five-kilometre stretch will be upgraded to bituminous standard and the remaining five kilometres would be gravelled and compacted.
“The main challenge being faced in the implementation of projects in the road sector is the limited financial resources to meet the many infrastructure development needed as there has been a long back a long on the infrastructure needs,” he said.
He was speaking when he appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Transport Works and Supply in Lusaka.
Mr. Mulusa said the road, once improved would ease the transportation of goods and services while spurring economic development in the district.
He, howver, observed the need for Government to mobilise resources specifically meant for infrastructure development in the newly declared districts to speed up development.
He also said RDA was in the process of procuring a contractor to undertake the upgrading of the Mwenda to Kapampi road.
Mr Mulusa said the scope of the works for the project would also include construction of urban roads and the construction of 28 kilometre urban roads in Chipili.
“The project will be financed using funds to be facilitated by the contractor (CFI) the works will commence once the financing agreement between the financier and the Ministry of Finance has been finalised,” he Mulusa aid.