Budget for Churchill Road construction overshoots— Roads Authority
Construction works on the dual carriage way on the Churchill Road in Limbe Blantyre have stopped and the Roads Authority (RA) is in the process of finding another contractor to work on the road.
The contract for the construction of the 650-metre stretch from Illovo Roundabout in Limbe to Midima Roundabout was initially given to Fargo Limited with a contract period of three months.
But the project took more than eight months and, currently, one carriage way has been completed and is being used.
The contractor, Fargo Limited, has decamped from the site and works on the ground have stopped.
However, RA Spokesperson Portia Kajanga said in an email response yesterday that the relocation of services required excavation of new trenches where the services’ cables pipes were to be transferred, and this pushed the cost up than initially budgeted for.
“We discovered that the contract sum was not adequate to complete all the works. The money for the continuation of the project was not included in the original contract sum. Currently, the Roads Authority has re-packaged the remaining works and is in the process of identifying another contractor to complete the works. It is hoped that works will resume after the rain season,” Kajanga said.
The retendering of the road comes after road users complained that the delay by Fargo to finish the road within the contract period had created unnecessary traffic jams in Limbe.
During drive time, it could take more than 30 minutes for a vehicle to complete the 650-metre stretch. Because minibus operators were reluctant to use the stretch due to traffic jams, bus fares for minibuses commuting between Limbe and Bangwe were hiked from K100 to K250.
When contacted to comment on the matter, Fargo Limited said as contractor, they are not supposed to speak to the media and advised us to speak to RA as a client in the project.
The initial budget for upgrading the single lane to dual carriage way was pegged at K406.5 million and RA is yet to disclose how much money is required to complete the remaining section.
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