Inflation scales down M1 expansion project

Inflation scales down M1 expansion project

Escalations in costs has prompted authorities to shelve initial plans to expand into dual carriageway a section of the M1 in the capital city from Lilongwe Hotel to Chidzanja Road junction at Biwi Triangle.

Instead, the K37 billion Japanese-funded expansion will be between Lilongwe Town Hall and Malangalanga Road junction. It will aslo include the expansion of the Lilongwe bridge to six lanes with a pedestrian underpass.

Kulemeka (L) briefs Hara as Japanese and other engineers look on

During a tour of road projects in Lilongwe yesterday, Minister of Transport and Public Infrastructure Jacob Hara said the Malawi Government will look for resources to restore the entire project scope.

“Actually, we are planning to extend the modernisation of the M1 to Nanjiri to ensure the ease of traffic flow,” said the minister.

He also toured the Kenyatta Road from Parliament to Game Complex, Mzimba Street from Crossroads Roundabout to Central Medical Stores Trust and the M1 between Crossroads Hotel and Kanengo.

Hara, a civil engineer himself, said he was impressed with the progress made recently following the review of initial costs to reflect the 44 percent kwacha devaluation last November and the further depreciations.

However, on the M1 section between Kanengo and Crossroads Roundabout, the contractor raised the issue of delayed approvals of the required tax waivers on some construction materials as per project agreement between the governments of China and Malawi.

The contractor also lamented the closure of one of the quarry stone mines in Lilongwe by the Ministry of Mining following an accident at the mine operated by a different company as factors that have affected material supplies for the project.

In response, Hara said the issues would be looked into without compromising the laid-down procedures on how to handle them.

“There are procedures for the tax waivers as far as MRA is concerned. We must make sure that all those procedures are followed and not skip and jump the queue,” he said.

The upgrading of the M1 between Crossroads Roundabout and Kanengo to dual carriageway is expected to be completed by December, according to the project manager Peng Shiwan.

On the other hand, the Lilongwe Bridge is earmarked for completion mid next year while Kenyatta Road and Mzimba Street, which are being expanded into six lanes, will be completed by December, according to resident engineer Paul Kulemeka.

“Currently, the work is at 51 percent for Kenyatta Road, and the contractor has up to December to complete. They have opened a number of fronts, so if that momentum is kept, we believe we should be able to finish by that time,” he said.

Delays in the projects had caused concerns as the projects that are all happening at the same time have bought mobility inconveniences within the city.

The post Inflation scales down M1 expansion project first appeared on Nation Online.

The post Inflation scales down M1 expansion project appeared first on Nation Online.