Mota-Engil, the Portuguese contractor working on the rehabilitation of the Liwonde-Mangochi Road, has trebled works on the rehabilitation of the Liwonde-Mangochi Road to beat the target.
Mota-Engil Public Relations Officer, Thomas Chafunya told Mana in an interview on Monday that the rehabilitation of the road was progressing tremendously and that about 35km of the road had already been completed with Asphalt concrete finish.
Chafunya said 60 percent of the works in constructing 106 curvets and two bridges on the 75km road had been done and that when completed, the road would be by far one of the strongest and durable roads in Malawi.
“We have trebled everything right from manpower, machinery and working time to catch up with the time we lost due to rains,” explained Chafunya, adding: “Although the rains were a challenge, it worked to our advantage as we were able to study and redesign the road to suit the flow of the water.”
According to Chafunya, given the terrain between Liwonde and Mangochi, the Liwonde-Mangochi Road is being raised to a considerable height in some places and the shoulders are going to be wide enough to accommodate pedestrians and pedal cyclists unlike before.
He said the contractor had had to construct two new bridges including one near Ulongwe Trading Centre from a scratch and that all curvets constructed along the road were of concrete and very strong.
“We believe that a good road must have a breathing space and wide enough to allow free flow of traffic; the Liwonde-Mangochi Road is being rehabilitated to that standard being a productive road,” said Chafunya.
He added that Mota-Engil was also constructing markets in key trading centres along the road, including Ulongwe, as part of the project considering the business boom that would come with the rehabilitated road.
Following the tripling of the works on the road, the contractor has split the workforce with one team working from the Liwonde direction and another from the Mangochi side to meet in between.
The project is part of the proposed phase 4 of the on-going Nacala Road Corridor Development Project which the African Development Bank is supporting in Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia.
Meanwhile, the Roads Authority (RA) have expressed satisfaction on the progress of the project saying when it is through, the project will reduce the cost of transportation of goods and encourage international trade within the three countries.
“The road will facilitate international trade from the port of Nacala on the Indian Ocean in Mozambique through Chiponde Border to Lilongwe in Malawi up to Lusaka in Zambia,” explained RA spokesperson, Portia Kajanga.
She added: “The road will be unique in that it will be done to Asphalt concrete finish, a very superior finish but also sitting on a crushed stone base.
“The 75km road will be improved to 7.0 m wide running surface of asphalt concrete, with 2.0m sealed shoulders with some minor horizontal and vertical re-alignment improvements.”
The road is also expected to boost the tourism industry in the country as it links two tourism destinations, Liwonde National Park and Lake Malawi in Mangochi.