Road Development Agency (RDA) Director and Chief Executive Officer, Eng. Grace Mutembo says the Concessionaire engaged to upgrade the Lusaka-Ndola Road into a dual carriageway has made significant progress in attaining Financial Close.

Eng. Mutembo said during her presentation at the Joint Donor Forum and Transport Sector Performance Review Forum at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka today that the Concessionaire and the Financiers would in the next four weeks conclude the financing arrangements and immediately commence the construction works.

MOIC-LN Consortium, has been engaged to upgrade to dual carriageway approximately 327 kilometres of the Lusaka-Ndola Road including rehabilitation of the 45 kilometres of the Luanshya-Fisenge-Masangano Road in Lusaka, Central and Copperbelt Provinces, under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Financing Model.

In order to improve the riding surface, the Concessionaire in August 2023 commenced emergency works on the Lusaka-Ndola Road section from Kabwe to Ndola and the works have been substantially completed.

The scope for the emergency works included reconstruction, rutting repair, crack sealing and pothole patching for the 327 kilometres of the existing carriageway.

Meanwhile, Eng. Mutembo has disclosed that the Agency has had a huge backlog on the road maintenance programme from 2013 to 2020. She said there was more concentration on construction and rehabilitation works during this period.

Eng. Mutembo however, said the situation had changed and more efforts were being directed towards road maintenance with 22% of the 2024 Road Sector Budget being channeled towards maintenance works.

Eng. Mutembo also said in order to bridge the gap on the construction and rehabilitation component of the Core Road Network, the Government through the RDA had made great strides to attract the private sector investments in the road sector.

She said so far, the Agency has negotiated and signed seven (7) PPP projects. These include: the Lusaka-Ndola dual carriageway; Ndola-Sakania-Mufulira Road; Lumwana-Kambimba Road; Katete-Chanida Road; Chingola-Kasumbalese Road; Kasomeno-Mwenda Road and Bridge project and Chingola-Mutanda Road.

The Forum is being attended by officials from the Government of the Republic of Zambia, African Development Bank (AfDB), European Union (EU), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Millennium Challenge Account among many others.

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