A NUMBER of fly-overs in Harare are in need of urgent attention as they risk collapse, a civil engineer’s body has warned.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
The structures include the Simon Mazorodze Road (Beatrice Road) fly-over at the interchange with Rotten Row as well as two adjacent fly-overs on Rotten Row and Lytton Road.
In a letter to the Office of the President and Cabinet, Zimbabwe Institute of Engineers (ZIE) president Bernard Musarurwa alleged that authorities had been ignoring the recommendations made by engineers who conducted inspections on the structures as far back as 2006.
The letter, which was also copied to Parliament read: “As engineers, we demand that MPs (Members of Parliament) take up the issue with the relevant minister. We do not want a situation where you will say this issue was never raised. We have had a government that has ignored infrastructure investment for years and now the existing infrastructure is crumbling.”
“The City of Harare (CoH) engineers, together with the consultant’s engineers, inspected the three flyovers on September 21, 2006. And again, the engineers conducted another more detailed inspection on September 29, 2006. From the two inspections, the consultant was able to ascertain firsthand the extent of defects to be able to propose the requisite intervention strategies required for the repair of the structures.
“The defects observed include spalling of concrete exposing rusted reinforcement steel bars in the beams at several locations. This defect was prevalent to beams in the middle of the structure, where laitance and efflorescence from ingress of moisture was severe. This coincided with the gravel median island of the dual carriageway, suggesting that the island and deck slab were pervious along the centre. There were also signs of moisture ingress along the joints at the abutments and at the central table span”.
Council spokesperson Michael Chideme said he had not received a copy of the report.
“We are aware of the issue. The study was commissioned by the Ministry of Transport. The fly-over belongs to the ministry and we have since written to them reminding them of the need to attend to the problem,” he said.
Transport and Infrastructure Development minister Joel Biggie Matiza could not be reached for comment as drepeated calls to his mobilephone went unanswered since Tuesday.