Bye-bye to potholes . . . city mulls concrete roads


Municipal Reporter

HARARE is migrating to concrete roads arguing that the traditional asphalt ones are prone to cracks and potholes. The city’s road network is in bad shape with potholes making life difficult for motorists.Efforts by council to repair the roads have failed as the potholes emerge soon after maintenance work. Acting Town Clerk Mrs Josephine Ncube yesterday told The Herald they were moving to concrete roads. She said they will start with Arcturus Road before spreading to other areas.

“We will be introducing our first cement roads very soon. We are going to start with Arcturus Road. We think there is justification to use such roads as most developed countries have since migrated from asphalt roads which require constant maintenance. We have the requisite skills in council,” said Mrs Ncube.

“Concrete roads require low maintenance and the advantage we have is that we have capacity as there is a lot of cement readily available in the country as compared to bitumen which we are currently importing from South Africa at higher prices.”

Mrs Ncube said concrete roads had a longer lifespan compared to asphalt roads.

She said research indicated that well-designed cement roads require little or no maintenance well beyond their 40-year design lives. Research also shows that concrete roads are not damaged from oil leaks like asphalt roads.

Council has over the years been criticised for its failure to repair potholes that are now a danger to motorists. With the onset of the rainy season, the potholes are now a menace.

There are now potholes even in the city centre. Major roads feeding into the city like Second Street Extension, Seke Road, Chiremba Road and Simon Mazorodze Road are now littered with potholes.

So dangerous have the roads become that motorists often ram into each other as they try avoid the potholes. Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni blamed the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) for the parlous state of the city roads.

He recently advised motorists to drive at 60km per hour on city roads. Mr Manyenyeni accused Zinara of sabotaging local authorities by starving them of funding.

Zinara allocated Harare City Council only $1,2 million for road maintenance last year. This was a drop in the ocean considering the scope of repairs that need to be done.

The city is in the process of procuring road maintenance equipment after Government approved its $30 million borrowing powers.

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  • Mister Arcadia PhD.

    Just talking,no action.Those roads have never been retarred since 1980, what did you expect??? In UK they have developed Tarmac ,dubbed “quiet tar”which absorbs noise,making a motorists drive smooth and quiet.The tar ,if laid professionally lasts for 40 years.Concrete roads will be noisy!

    • Fred Moyo

      Netherlands have best roads in the world. Its Dynamic Route Information Panel system is not find anywhere in the world. #Class

  • eliah

    Welcome development but i am not sure why this is happening in Zim only because in other countries with the same volume of traffic this is not experienced. Parts of Churchill road near Second street which was retarred less than three months ago has developed serious potholes. I wonder if we can not talk of shoddy work also as a contributor. Whatever the council decide to do it has to be top priority and ensure its quality work as i am not an engineer and wouldn’t know the difference between asphalt and concrete in terms of durability.

  • Mosquito

    Kwaaaaaaaaa concrete my foot!
    The secret is road maintenance and resealing when the tar has reached its life! These roads are more than 40 years old yet their lifespan is 15 years -what do you expect! On new roads use competent contractors, quality material, maintain, reseal or redo when the road has reached the end of its life! How much is a steel&concrete road per km compared to a tarred road?

  • Madara

    Wont be done. even Churchill road took ages to get done. and even now only a few months after its completed its already starting to get bumpy, which will result in potholes soon. it was badly constructed.

  • Kire

    Ministers AND councillors stop accusations, Do something about it !!!!!!!!!!! Now that it’s become a dangerous hazard to motorist and a national disaster.

  • Aljezeera-Alshabab

    Reporter, can you archive your HEAD LINE “BYE-BYE …” until the last pothole is fixed. Otherwise, it may not be long before you say “WELCOME BACK POTHOLES” or , “POTHOLES, YOU ARE STILL HERE, WE THOUGHT YOU WERE SINCE LONG GONE!”

  • Gamba ReManyika

    So we are importing bitumen from S.A. when we have coal at Hwange? I thought bitumen was a by-product of coal. Kudzidza hakuperi.
    Why wait until roads are this bad? It is now more costly to rehabilitate the roads than it was if you had just avoided the potholes from developing into craters.
    Please try other materials for low traffic roads in the residential areas. I would propose the use of special types of clay – we have it in the country, just to save our shock absorbers please.

  • Jojo

    Chinos has got a point- concrete roads have to be constructed with construction and expansion joints which produce an irritating repetitive thumping noise. The M25 in UK has got a short stretch of concrete surface and all motorists will notice an irritating bumping sound as you drive past the joints. The Mvuma Gweru is a case study for the council and they should sit down with the experienced Civil Engineers who built that stretch of road and understand the reason that they discontinued that type of construction. The current crop of senior leaders at the City are incompetent because you can see by the quality of responses to issues that they are clueless.

  • tee cee

    kkkkkk yar

  • mental poison

    your first sentence sells you out, who are they arguing with other than themselves. the government or whosoever the authority myt be has failed. Dont sell us your cheap hypothesis which we have since realised is utopian, kana vakuda kuchinja maroad gavachinje vakanyarara kwete kuda ku argue ne munhu asipo as if they are bringing a solution to problem created by some1 wen we so very much kno that failure to mantain and reluctactance to participate in community development until election time has caused this dire problem, not arguing kut asphalt is worse off than concrete. pavanotadza ku mantain concrete iyoyo they will start to argue fut and get me ryt it will be towards another election. this situation did not start nhasi.