Mbudzi interchange works reach intensive stage When asked about the relocation of the Skyline tollgate on Monday by Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona, Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) board chairperson Dr George Manyaya said Zinara had enough money for the move.

Ivan Zhakata and Tina Musonza

MAJOR roads that were using the Mbudzi roundabout and will be using the new Mbudzi interchange now have to be closed for 18 months for 1,5km in each of the four directions from the old roundabout as the major civil engineering construction on the multi-bridge interchange gets into its intensive stage.

Portions of Harare-Masvingo Road, Chitungwiza Road and High Glen Road near what was Mbudzi traffic circle will be closed for 18 months with effect from Sunday.

A lot of the preliminary work, besides starting the foundations of some of the bridge structures and clearing land around the old roundabout, has been on working out the multiple diversions needed, making sure that they can just cope, and then marking these. 

Alternative routes include Malvern Road through Waterfalls, Forbes Road that leads to that road, Hopley Road and Stoneridge Road. 

The need for diversions will add to the woes motorists and truck drivers have been facing, but at least there is now a time limit until the new interchange suddenly makes everything a lot better in early 2025.

The US$88 million state-of-the-art Mbudzi interchange at the intersection of Simon Mazorodze Road, Chitungwiza Road, and High Glen Road will be seeing an incredible amount of construction as the collection of bridgework on several levels is constructed. 

When finished all traffic moving into the intersection where the four roads meet will be able to go through the intersection without stopping and without having to give way, since each strand of the traffic will be on its own level and own route that does not meet another route.

The planners have been bringing the required equipment to the site and getting through all the preparatory work without closing the roundabout. But they have now reached the stage where they have to.

The intersection handles incredibly heavy traffic feed from western Chitungwiza and many old and new suburbs into Harare City Centre, as well as the heavy national and regional traffic on the Harare-Masvingo highway.

In June, Government said Mbudzi roundabout will be closed for 18 months to allow construction of the interchange to proceed swiftly.

In a statement Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development Felix Mhona said following the gazetting of General Notice 1173 of 2022, they will be closing portions of Harare-Masvingo Road, Chitungwiza Road and High Glen Road at Mbudzi traffic circle for the purposes of construction of Mbudzi Interchange with effect from September 18, 2022.

“The portions of the roads hereunder shall be closed for a period of one and half years and the motoring public shall be using diversion routes, Malvern Road, Forbes Road, Hopley Road, and Stoneridge Road,” he said.

“Portions of roads to be closed are roads constituting the four legs of roads into Mbudzi traffic circle for a distance 1.5 kilometres from the centre line of the traffic circle on all four legs. A portion of Harare Masvingo Road at Mbudzi 1.5 kilometres before the centre line of the traffic circle and 1.5 kilometres after the traffic circle.

“A portion of Chitungwiza road, 1.5 kilometres after the traffic circle going to Chitungwiza. A portion of High Glen Road, 1.5 kilometres after the traffic circle going to High Glen.”

He urged motorists to be patient during the construction period.

When complete, the world-class interchange being constructed under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme, is expected to eliminate congestion at the point where two major highways meet the Beitbridge-Harare national highway, with the traffic circle that was deemed adequate a few decades ago now totally overwhelmed.

The widening of the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu highway plus its reconstruction and rehabilitation is a critical component of the north-south corridor and huge delays as this highway met the major southern urban roads in Harare would negate many of the advantages won, as well as jamming traffic crossing the highway.

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