Construction of the multi-million-dollar Mbudzi traffic interchange will create more than 700 new jobs in 18 months, with preparatory work for the project nearing completion.
Project contractor TEFOMA Consortium has secured about 75 percent of the construction equipment required to undertake the US$88 million project. The traffic interchange is expected to ease congestion at arguably the country’s busiest traffic circle.
TEFOMA Consortium comprises local construction companies such as Tensor Construction, Fossil Contracting and Masimba Holdings.
Project director Mr Andre Hilhorst said the contractor had completed all geotechnical and topographical surveys.
The project’s Environmental Impact Assessment report has been submitted to the Environmental Management Agency for approval.
“This is a unique project in scale and magnitude, which will create approximately 700 jobs at peak,” he said.
“The technical complexity means that there will be significant upskilling of local professionals, technicians and artisans.
“To ensure skills are imparted, experts from outside the country have been employed to work on the project, as well as train and mentor locals.”
He said residents affected by the development are being consulted, while the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development is preparing a financial package to compensate them before they are relocated to pave way for full-scale construction activities.
The interchange is being constructed at the confluence of Simon Mazorodze, High Glen and Chitungwiza roads.
About 75 percent of the equipment fhas been purchased. This includes specialist equipment for pre-stressing beams, advance concrete batch plants, tower cranes, project vehicles, laboratory equipment, formwork and earthmoving machinery.
Mr Hilhorst said 40 percent of the material has been delivered, and weekly deliveries are coming in from across the border and overseas. The entire project, with ancillary services and diversion routes, will cost approximately US$88 million,.
Work on detours to divert traffic from the construction site, Mr Hilhorst added, is in full swing following the subsiding rains.
Initial drilling and blasting has also started on some bridge structures to establish the subsurface conditions.
A detailed value engineering design review has also been done by the Ministry of Transport to ensure the design meet world-class standards and is made future-proof as far
as smart highways and integration is concerned.
Several supply arrangements with local suppliers of steel, aggregates, cement and other materials have been put in place.
“A deliberate emphasis has been placed on supporting local suppliers wherever possible.”