The light rehabilitation of sections of the main road that passes through Oshakati, at a cost of N$24,5 million, was justified.
Roads Authority responded to the issues raised by Omutumwa recently by dispatching the regional engineer of northern roads maintenance to meet up with our journalist on site and clarify issues concerning the necessity to rehabilitate a road which appeared to be in a good condition.
Mr Kennedy Chigumira, the road maintenance engineer for the northern areas covering Opuwo, Oshakati, to Rundu and Katima Mulilo explained that the decision to give the MR 92 road a light rehabilitation was made after it was realized that the section that passes through Oshakati was slowly falling apart.
Chigumira pointed out parts of the road which have defects and structural failures that make it a costly exercise to continuously contract local road maintenance companies to patch up the potholes.
“During last year alone we had to spend N$8 million just on patching up the potholes on this road,” Chigumira said. “And so we thought it would be much cheaper and it makes sense to rather spend this 24,5 million to do a light rehabilitation which will make the road last for more than five years.
“It’s true that the road may appear to the naked eye to be in a good condition. But technical engineering knowledge is indicating that the tarred road has structural failures under the surface, so that soon there will be potholes everywhere.”
Chigumira explained that the deformities and structural failures have been caused by water seeping through the tarmac and collecting into puddles underneath the road surface.
He also explained that the amount of N$24,5 million to be spent on the road’s light rehabilitation covers incidental expenses such as VAT and the contractor’s hauling of equipment to set up base near the site.
“The same amount is also covering the work of interlocking pavers of the traffic island.”
He further stated that there will be a “reseal” topping, road marks and painting of the kerb by October 2020 before the rehabilitation works will be completed.
IN THE PHOTO: RA road engineer Kennedy Chigumira indicates how the Oshakati road has been damaged not only by heavy traffic but also by rain water seeping through the surface as a result of deformities.