The Roads Authority (RA) this week announced the partial opening of phase one of the Windhoek to Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) project. The project is an upgrade to a dual carriageway road, and a section of it is open to traffic.
The completed stretch of road is between Auas Road and Robert Mugabe Avenue.
On the occasion, RA CEO Conrad Lutombi said this section of the road will be known as the Windhoek Southern Bypass and comprises the construction of nine kilometres of dual carriage freeway, 15 kilometres ramp roads, four interchanges and 13 new bridges, of which two are river bridges.
The construction of phase one commenced in January 2016 and will be completed in August this year. Lutombi stated that the estimated cost of this section is approximately N$922 million, and it is fully funded by the Namibian government.
He further provided an update on phase 2a and 2b of the project, saying phase 2a covers the road section from the Sam Nujoma interchange (in the vicinity of Avis/Auasblick residential areas) to the Dordabis interchange, east of Windhoek.
“This section comprises the construction of 19.5 kilometres of dual carriageway freeway. It will also include the construction of three interchanges and seven new bridges, of which one is a river bridge,” explained Lutombi.
The construction of phase 2a commenced in March 2020, and the envisaged completion date is September 2023. He stressed that this phase is funded by the Namibian government and the African Development Bank (AfDB) at an estimated cost of N$949 million.
“I express my gratitude to the AfDB for lending a helping hand to provide a safe and sustainable road infrastructure for the economic and social benefit of our people. To date, 13% of the construction work has been completed,” said the CEO.
The construction of phase 2b, which covers the remainder of the road from the Dordabis interchange to the HKIA, has not commenced. However, Lutombi indicated that the procurement of a contractor is underway, and he anticipates having a contractor on site by June or July 2021.
The phase will be fully funded via a grant from the People’s Republic of China, and it will comprise the construction of a 23.5 kilometres dual carriage freeway.
“Upon completion, the dual carriageway will ease the flow of traffic and enhance road safety on this vital and busy stretch. We will experience a significant reduction in road accidents, especially head-on collisions, which have claimed many lives,” Lutombi explained.
The full function of the carriageway, according to him, will support the economy by allowing quicker and alternative movements to and from the capital to the rest of the country.