Dar gears up for super highway projects
THE government said yesterday it was capitalising on several road construction projects, some finished, to give the city of Dar es Salaam a complete facelift.
Minister of State in the President’s Office in charge of Regional Administration and Local Government, Mr George Simbachawene and the Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Professor Makame Mbarawa, expressed optimism yesterday as they outlined the number of projects, some under implementation.
The two were speaking at the official inauguration of the Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit (DART) infrastructure and transport services for Phase One in the city. Prof Mbarawa told the gathering that Phase Two of the project, which would involve constructing the DART infrastructure from Gerezani at Kariakoo to Mbagala, would start soon as final touches are being made to acquire the contractor for the work.
He further said several road construction projects are ongoing, for instance, the expansion of the Morocco- Mwenge Road and the interchange sections at the junctions of Ubungo and Morocco, among others that will add to the planned ‘flyovers’.
The construction of the Tazara flyover is currently undertaken at high pace, with expectations for its completion next year. The six-lane expressway from Dar es Salaam to Chalinze was also a significant project that the government is looking forward to start its implementation. President John Magufuli noted that the government had set aside about 38bn/- this financial year to construct the city’s road infrastructure.
“The construction of the interchange section at Ubungo should start soon to give the BRT system a real meaning of the Rapid Transit as opposed to the current situation whereby traffic police officers are deployed to direct vehicles at the junction,” he said.
Mr Simbachawene noted that with the completion of the DART project Phase One, pupils and students in the city are now relieved from mistreatment in the hands of commuter buses, daladala, as they can now travel comfortably.
Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner (RC), Paul Makonda, who has for long been campaigning for a ‘new Dar es Salaam’, said the Bus Rapid Transit in the city has so far managed to cut down time commuters were using to travel to and from the city centre.
For example, he noted, from Kimara to Kivukoni one used to spend between three and four hours on the road, but now it took them only 30 to 40 minutes to do so. He was also hopeful that the city was going to have a new face, citing the ongoing construction of feeder roads such as the one from Mbezi to Kinyerezi and Gongo la Mboto.