GOVERNMENT is next week expected to commission a $68 million dualised section of the Airport Road in bid to ease congestion and create a direct link between the central business district and Harare International Airport.
Speaking at a media tour of the Airport Road, Augur Investments chairman Ken Sharpe said the construction of the road was still ongoing as they had completed Phase One, that is the movement of traffic in one direction.
The company was contracted to construct the multi-million dollar project.
He said under Phase Two the company would work on the dualisation of the road that would be completed by April 2014.
“The agreed contract price was $68 million and value added tax is 15%, we have completed work of $20 million, that is a quarter of the total investment.
“There have been major delays in the construction of the road and some of the cables were not easily identifiable. The land is unzoned, public land rezoned which turned out to be a delayed and frustrating process which took three years, but that has been resolved,” Sharpe said.
“The roads will be partly opened on the two completed sections. The roads will have to be used as soon as possible to maintain the integrity of the road.”
Sharpe said the construction was part of a barter deal that the company struck with government in exchange for land. Under the deal, Augur Investments receives land from government in exchange for road construction.
He said the company had acquired a bitumen paver and an asphalt plant had been established near the city.
Sharpe said some of the road signs that were installed on the new roads were stolen on Saturday, but they were being replaced.
He said the company had so far been given 130 hectares of land by government through the barter deal in Gunhill and Borrowdale.
“We look at mixed uses of land — commercial, retail and the bulk residential,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, civil and planning partnership engineer Bernard Musarurwa said through the construction of the road, no houses would be affected as the company had resorted to use the available space.
“No house will be affected by the new road, but the available space will be used. We have to move some security walls,” he said.
The project, according to Musarurwa, incorporates six junctions with a proposed flyover on the road.
He said all properties along the expressway route would be served by parallel service roads.
Harare City Council director in charge of services Phillip Pfukwa said owners of some properties that were encroaching into the construction of the road would be compensated.
“Yes, there has been a lot of encroachment on properties underground, but we had to go back to the drawing board so that we don’t do underground movement,” Pfukwa said.