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Govt commissions rehabilitated Kafue Hook Bridge

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Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development Minister, Hon. Eng. Charles L. Milupi has today commissioned the Kafue Hook Bridge, which has been rehabilitated at a cost of K167,463,918.10.
The Kafue Hook Bridge is an important crossing point linking Lusaka, Central and Western Provinces to the rest of the country.
The crossing point is a 6-span steel-concrete composite bridge with a total length of 270 metres across the Kafue River and is in the Kafue National Park in Mumbwa District of Central Province.
Hon. Eng. Milupi said the bridge was first constructed with the support of the People’s Republic of China and was commissioned by the First Republican President of Zambia, the late Dr. Kenneth Kaunda on 24th May 1973.
He said the rehabilitation works of this bridge commenced on 15th October 2015 and was scheduled to be completed on 24th October 2017.
“However, the project had been suspended five times during implementation, resulting in a stoppage period of four years, one month, and three weeks. With the coming of the New Dawn Government in August 2021, the works were restarted on 19th November 2021 and completed on 4th March 2023,” he said.
Hon. Eng. Milupi further said the Government was currently carrying out holding maintenance works on various roads using the Road Development Agency (RDA) Regional Offices in the respective Provinces to ensure that the road network does not deteriorate further as the treasury sources for funds to carry out major repair works.
In this regard, the Government has plans to work on the following roads in Western Province once the treasury sources the required funds: Lusaka-Mongu Road especially on the section from Tateyoyo to Katunda; Katunda-Lukulu-Watopa-Mumbezhyi Road; Tapo-Kalabo-Sikongo-Angola Border Road; and Livingstone-Sesheke Road.
He said similarly, the Government has plans to work on the following roads in Central Province subject to availability of funds: Landless Corner-Mumbwa-Kasempa Road; Nampundwe-Blue Lagoon Road; and Kabwe-Ngabwe Road. The Lusaka-Ndola dual carriageway, which passes through Central Province, will also be worked on using a Public Private Partnerships (PPP) model once the Concessionaire reaches financial closure.
Central Province Minister, Hon. Credo Nanjuwa said the bridge was critical as it facilitated the movement of goods and services between Central and other Provinces.
He said there was need to improve the road network in the province so as to support the agricultural sector especially in the remote areas.
Western Province Minister, Hon. Kapelwa Mbangweta said the people of Western Province were happy with the completion of works on the bridge.
Hon. Mbangweta said efforts should now be directed towards working on the key roads that were in a poor state.
RDA Board of Directors Chairperson, Eng. Mulchand Kuntawala said the original contract sum for the rehabilitation of the bridge was K147,539,014.61, with a construction period of 24 months to be completed by 14th October 2017.
Eng. Kuntawala said during project implementation, the revised contract sum and completion date increased to K167,463,918.10 and 4th March 2023, respectively.
“This major delay of over five and half years from the original date of completion was primarily due to the inconsistent allocation of funds. Even the temporary bridge had started to become a permanent bridge,” he said.
He said the bridge is a very important crossing point on one of the main road arteries for business and commerce including connecting people for their travel and hence, the Government placed a priority on its completion which was made possible by the systematic and consistent allocation of funds.
Eng. Kuntawala said as part of, the Government’s vision to achieve sustainable growth, great emphasis has been placed on the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of the highway infrastructure, including bridges, to ensure accessibility to communities and services.
He said the RDA had signed the service contract with Kiran and Musonda Associates to carry out the assessment and design of the Kafue Hook Bridge in 2013. In 2015, the RDA engaged Kiran and Musonda Associates for the design review of the temporary bridge and to supervise pre and post construction.
The consultancy services commenced in March 2016. China Henan International Cooperation Group Limited (CHICO) was appointed as the works contractor in February 2015, and the rehabilitation works of Kafue Hook Bridge officially commenced on 15th October 2015.
Eng. Kuntawala said the composite bridge superstructure was in good condition, but the substructure and the five piers were in a poor condition and needed repair or rehabilitation.
Eng. Kuntawala said all the five piers have been replaced with new piers using a unique method of lifting the superstructure on jacking frames while demolishing the five old piers and constructing new ones and then lowering the superstructure onto the new substructure.
He said this method is the first of its kind in Zambia.
He added that the West end abutment was relatively crack-free, while the East end abutment had more severe cracks, which had to be chipped off and reinforcement driven in and concreted.
“In addition, the contractor has rehabilitated about 1.4 kilometres approach road and the chutes, staircases, kerbs, road signs, and guideposts on either side of the bridge The contractor has replaced kerbs, restored and repainted handrails, and installed solar lights on the bridge deck,” he said.
The event was also attended by the Ngambela of Barotseland who was accompanied by five Indunas from the Baroste Royal Establishment. Others were Senior Chief Shakumbila of Shibuyunji District and Chief Mulendema of Mumbwa District.
(RDA)
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