Harare council mulls concrete roads

HARARE - The Harare City Council (HCC) is considering constructing concrete roads this year.

The local authority’s acting town clerk, Josephine Ncube, said cement roads last longer, the materials are readily available and HCC had the capacity to use such technology.

Ncube said the pilot project will start with the Arcturus Road.

“There is, from a technical perspective, quite a justification to have cement roads rather than bitumen. Once Arcturus succeeds, we will spread it to other roads in the city,” she said.

The drive to redo Harare’s roads comes after residents have been complaining of the state of the city’s roads.

Council has not done any major maintenance on most Harare roads in the last two decades, leaving them extremely disfigured and increasingly unnavigable.

Harare Residents Trust (HRT) said while Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) is collecting licensing fees for vehicles, that should not take away the local authority’s responsibility in road rehabilitation.

The trust said that although part of the property tax charged on residents’ bills goes towards road maintenance and street lighting, nothing is being fixed.

“The money being generated from vehicle clamping and towing which goes into city coffers directly, racked in through the traffic section, should be contributing significantly towards road maintenance and rehabilitation,” HRT said.

Last year, Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said residents should blame Zinara for the lack of road maintenance and repairs instead of council.

“Residents should focus their complaints on potholes and poor roads to Zinara and not HCC.

“We should be getting about $40 million per year from Zinara for road maintenance but they are only remitting $1 million, which is not enough for standard repairs,” he said.

Comments (11)

These people should be reminded that it is not the type of road that matters- timely period maintenance will determine how long a road lasts. Have they done a costing exercise for the use of asphalt or concrete roads?

Jojo - 25 January 2017

Very true Jojo. The Town Clerk is clueless on road construction. They do not have money to do cheap mantainance and yet they propose to build concrete roads which are more than 3 times more expensive (a lot of initial costs). Moreover in a Town situation so many services may need to cross the road during and this will involve breaking across the concrete road. The Town Engineer must advise these Adminstrators. Please....

Engineer Kennedy - 25 January 2017

Very true Jojo. The Town Clerk is clueless on road construction. They do not have money to do cheap mantainance and yet they propose to build concrete roads which are more than 3 times more expensive (a lot of initial costs). Moreover in a Town situation so many services may need to cross the road during and this will involve breaking across the concrete road. The Town Engineer must advise these Adminstrators. Please....

Engineer Kennedy - 25 January 2017

Very true Jojo. The Town Clerk is clueless on road construction. They do not have money to do cheap mantainance and yet they propose to build concrete roads which are more than 3 times more expensive (a lot of initial costs). Moreover in a Town situation so many services may need to cross the road during and this will involve breaking across the concrete road. The Town Engineer must advise these Adminstrators. Please....

Engineer Kennedy - 25 January 2017

idiots concrete roads! just maintain regularly!

Young Zimbo - 25 January 2017

If the concrete option was feasible, why is the council not doing it? Do we need a newspaper report, or we need action. However, that idea sounds achaic. The reporter should have done a bit more rersearch on best practices on roads engineering.

Samaita - 25 January 2017

Lookup plastic roads. An exciting new idea in prototype. 3x longer, 70% faster, 4x lighter, 100% recyclable

Garth Drummond - 25 January 2017

Thats the idea.Do everything for our roads.We have very good engineers in this country who can work and be paid bond notes or locally.Plse dont import engineers .Do smething soonest.

viola gwena - 25 January 2017

Jojo you cannot take timely period maintenance and ignore the road type in our considerations. That would also fall in the category of poor thought processes. Concrete roads tend to be more durable. In USA their highways are by and large concrete because they have higher volumes of traffic and heavier vehicles. in their context its much cheaper than asphalt surfaces which you would find in the smaller and less traffic zones. so we really need to be holistic and not sentimental about everything.

sambiri - 25 January 2017

Concrete roads have been tried and are working elsewhere. I witnessed south Africa doping it in N3 and they seem durable if done properly. Its like building a house deck where you need iron roads and proper engineering. So, go for it if you can City Councils. Others have done paving with concrete bricks as well - but here those bricks will be stolen!!

XG - 26 January 2017

Concrete roads are durable though high initial capital. Also look on the benefits of low maintenance cost. Who ever wants to put some services under the roads its his own problem. Concrete roads ndizvo. Other countries are using concrete after thorough analysis. We do not want conflict of interest here. Manufacturers of asphalt don't spoil the move!!!!!!!!

cHAMUNORWA bUNGA - 27 January 2017

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