Mota-Engil delays Area 18 Interchange project due to Covid-19

Roads Authority (RA) says completion of the Area 18 Clover  leaf Interchange initially planned for July may be pushed to August due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic which has affected work on the site.

Work on Area 18 Interchange Project underway

In an interview, RA spokesperson Portia Kajanga said the contractor, Mota-Engil, is adhering to Covid-19 precautionary measures which has affected the speed of the works.

“The contractor reduced the number of workers and machinery to prevent the spread of the pandemic,” she said.

Kajanga also said the ongoing lockdown in South Africa has affected import of bitumen products, street lights and other structural elements for the bridge.

“With the South African government relaxing some of the lockdown measures, the contractor will now bring such materials into the country,” she said.

Charlotte Chisoni, a motorist, said she was looking forward to the speedy completion of the project, saying the delay is inconveniencing road users.

“We are forced to use diversions which are bumpy and dusty and create traffic jams,” she said.

Gerald Nkhoma, a commuter, welcomed the development, saying once complete, delays to work will be minimised.

“With the diversions, one needs to leave home as early as 6am to reach the workplace on time,” he said.

The interchange is the only remaining work on Parliament-Bingu Stadium Road dual carriageway upgrading project.

The K4.9 billion project started in 2017. So far, about 80 percent of the work on the interchange has been completed.

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