The Road Development Agency (RDA) has awarded a KR562 million contract to Sino Hydro Zambia Limited for the construction of more than 45 kilometres (km) of the dual carriageway between Kitwe and Chingola on the Copperbelt province.
RDA Director Bernard Chiwala said the contract will be undertaken within 24 months from the date of execution and the contractor is expected to mobilize within 60 days.
Mr. Chiwala stated that the scope of the work will be to construct among other things an entirely new south bound road on the existing road, new junctions and drainage structures and a new bridge over Mwambashi river more than 12 km from Kitwe.
He was speaking at the signing of the contract in Lusaka today.
He expressed happiness at the awarding of the contract saying the project will translate into several benefits among them enhanced safety features, improved carrying capacity and ease of transportation.
Mr. Chiwala said the Kitwe-Chingola road was a vital road link forming part of north-south corridor but has recently seen a reduced carrying capacity due to increased mining activities.
And Mr. Chiwala has disclosed that as part of the government’s link Zambia 8000 project, RDA will be awarding another contract at the end of the month for the design of the Lusaka-Kapiri dual carriage way following the evaluation of tenders.
He added that the contract was for phase one (1) of the entire road link from Lusaka to Kapiri Mposhi with phase two (2) for the Kapiri Mposhi to Ndola dual carriageway to be awarded by the end of August this year 2013.
Mr. Chiwala affirmed that the link Zambia 8000 project underlined government’s intention to empower Zambians through the creation of the much needed employment of about 24,000 people, especially for youths.
And Kitwe City Mayor Chileshe Bweupe said the signing of the contract to construct the Kitwe-Chingola road marks a milestone for the people of Kitwe who have been calling for the road to be done for many years now.
Mr. Bweupe disclosed that about 20 lives were lost on the same road last year alone with more than 50 injured adding that those statistics stand to reduce once the road is improved.
And Sino Hydro Zambia Limited Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Liu Benjiang said his company was happy to be given the contract and pledged to excel in its work as this was the first time the company was working in Zambia.
Mr. Benjiang stated that the company will devote its expertise and advanced equipment to provide a high quality road that will benefit the country socially and economically.