Rosh Pinah Oranjemund trunk road gets tar seal
The main road, DR118 between Rosh Pinah and Oranjemund will soon be upgraded to an all-weather tarred road. The Roads Authority in collaboration with the Ministry of Works and Transport held the official ground breaking ceremony for the upgrading to bitumen standard of Main Road 118 connecting the zink and the diamond mining towns, in the last week of November.
The existing district road linking Oranjemund to Rosh Pinah is a gravel road, constructed during the eighties to serve as the southern patrol perimeter for the then Diamond Area 1. Access was restricted and only allowed by Namdeb to approved officials, or on special application. It will now be upgraded to bitumen standard, and reclassified from district road to main road. The distance is approximately 95 kiometres.
The consulting engineer for this project is VKE Namibia and the contractor is Raubex. The Roads Authority is the government agency responsible for the overall supervision of the project.
Speaking at the ceremony, Kilus Nguvauva, Deputy Minister of Works and Transport said Namibia is steadily becoming the transit hub for neighbouring countries, hence the need to expand and rehabilitate roads to ensure a safe and reliable shipment of goods and transportation of people around southern Africa.
“A good road network has a significant socio-economic benefit that both enhances and stimulates economic growth. From a traffic viewpoint, the benefit of a well-maintained road network can be found in reduction of transportation costs and safety of road users.”
“Our ministry is very concerned about the increase of road crashes on our road network which has so far claimed many lives of our people, thus, to improve the status of road safety, our ministry will soon direct the Roads Authority to ensure that road safety audits become a standard requirement for the detailed design phases of each road construction and rehabilitation project.
We hope this initiative coupled with the effective implementation of the Namibian Chapter of Decade of Action for road safety as approved by Cabinet in 2011, will reverse the road traffic carnage on our road network,” he said.
The Prime Minister, Hon Dr. Hage Geingob said the government knows that transportation is one of the best investments that can be made to expand opportunity and prosperity to more and more Namibians.
He said although virtual connectivity and information technology have become increasingly important, a good and reliable transport network remains vital as there is a very strong correlation between a country’s economic development and the quality of its road network.
“Roads are an integral part of the transport system. A country’s road network should be efficient in order to maximize economic and social benefits.
They play a significant role in achieving national development [goals] and contributing to the overall performance and social functioning of the community. It is acknowledged that roads enhance mobility, taking people out of isolation and therefore poverty,” said Geingob.
The Prime further added that it is for these reasons that the government has embarked on a regional trunk routes development programme which aims at promoting the development of the country through inter-regional trade.
“This project forms part of that programme.
Furthermore, the project will also support the development of the south-western region of the country which is characterized by strong tourism, fishing and mining sectors which are strategic sectors for Namibia as envisaged in the fourth National Development Plan.
Therefore the paving of this road will help reduce transport costs and improve market accessibility in the tourism, fishing and mining sector,” he said.
The road starts approximately 3 kilometres south of Rosh Pinah, along Main Road 118, and runs 8 kilometres south along District Road 212 until the turn-off to Sendelingsdrift.
Currently, the 8 kilometres section to Sendlingsdrift has been surfaced with a low volume seal and will also be upgraded to bitumen standards.
The road continues in a south westerly direction for 2 kilometres before reaching an Access Control Gate. The road then continues along the existing gravel road for 85 km, through rolling terrain reaching a second Access Control Gate which is the end point of the project route.