Road construction creates employment
First phase completed
24 October 2021 | Infrastructure
Conrad Lutombi; CEO, Roads Authority; “Approximately 330 employment opportunities were created during the construction of this phase.”
The first phase (section A) of the Swakopmund – Henties Bay – Uis – Khorixas – Kamanjab road project has been completed at a cost of N$940 million, wholly funded by the Namibian government.
According Roads Authority (RA) chief executive Conrad Lutombi, this phase created approximately 330 employment opportunities. The project involves the upgrading to bitumen standard of the MR44 and MR76 roads, which stretches from Swakopmund to Henties Bay along the western coast of Namibia. The consultant of the completed phase was Aurecon/Bicon Joint Venture and the Contractor was Roads Contractor Company (RCC), with the Zhong Mei Engineering Group (Pty) Ltd as its sub-contractor. The entire road is 406 km long.
The construction of phase 1, Section A commenced in January 2016 and was completed in August 2021. “The project was revised from 90km to 99.8km to include the Henties Bay bypass and the 3km road into Henties Bay,” Lutombi explained. The construction process also included two bridges: the Road-Over Rail Bridge in Swakopmund and the Omaruru River Bridge in Henties Bay.
The project is divided in two phases (1 and 2) and each phase is divided into two sections (A and B). Phase 1 is 192.8km long and consists of two sections. Section A starts about 20km from Swakopmund through and past Henties Bay and covers 99.8km. Section B consist of a 20km distance which runs past Henties Bay towards Uis, which is 96km. Phase 2 is 220 km is length. Section A of phase two stretches from Kamanjab to Khorixas (105km) while section B stretches from Khorixas to Uis (115km).
Once the entire project is completed, the road will become a vital transport corridor route, linking north central Namibia and the Oshikango border post to Angola with western Namibia.
The road is also classified as one of the important in Namibia, as it has major tourism significance. Swakopmund, Henties Bay, Uis, Khorixas and Kamanjab are urban centres served by this road-link and are popular holiday areas fostering economic activity in the area. Social benefits listed from the project include improved mobility of local communities to markets and public services, improved rural accessibility and promoting the welfare of the local communities. Economic benefits include reducing vehicle operating costs, poverty reduction through employment creation, the promotion of trade and tourism in the area as well as the reduction of road user costs and transport costs.