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.