‘Promises on road infrastructures construction turn reality’

“In these five years 2020 -2025, we will implement what have been directed in the CCM Election Manifesto by continuing constructing transport infrastructures.

“We will continue completing construction of roads, particularly in strategic places where production activities are done. We will complete construction of major bridges, including Kigongo-Busisi, Wami, Tanzanite and Pangani bridges,” President Samia Suluhu Hassan promised when made her first address in the Parliament on April 22, last year.

It is now just one year since she took oath of the office, and the transport sector already witnessed promises turn into reality in different aspects.

Several road construction projects under the Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) are speedily implemented, with some completed and launched.

Within a period of one year, the Head of State has personally inaugurated completed projects, laid foundation stone or inspected the ongoing road and bridge construction projects in different parts of the country.

As the country marks one year of her leadership, TANROADS celebrates by highlighting several accomplishments;

One of the milestones is completion of the Tanzanite Bridge in Dar es Salaam.

The construction of eagerly awaited Tanzanite Bridge, formerly known as New Selander Bridge, is fully completed and was opened for public use from February 2022.

Hon. Makame Mbarawa, Minister for Works and Transport inspected the completed state-of-art bridge which started three years ago has now been completed by 100 per cent.

The members of the public started using the new bridge pending its official opening later on.

“We will invite President Samia Suluhu Hassan to officiate the opening. The bridge will be open 24 hours and road users will not be charged, it is for free," Prof Mbarawa said upon his visit to inspect the completed bridge in the city.

The minister credited President Samia for enabling the ministry to complete the construction at a cost of over 240bn/-.

"We at the ministry  thank her for ensuring that Tanzania opens up through construction of road infrastructures to enliven economic activities," he said.

Apart from decongesting and beautifying the city, the new flyover connecting the Coco Beach and Aga Khan area, will reduce time of travelling to and from the city centre.

For instance, for people who travel from Mbezi Beach to Posta take over one hour, but with opening of the Tanzanite Bridge they may take less than 40 minutes.

Prof Mbarawa insisted on protecting the new bridge in order to make it last longer.

"The bridge's life span is 100 years but if we use it well it may last longer," he said as he scolded at individuals with tendency of vandalizing road infrastructures.

He said vandalism has been among the factors contributing to road accidents because people remove road signs.

The Bridge has been designed to carry maximum weight of 180 tonnes at a time.

Chief Executive Officer of TANROADS, Eng Rogatus Mativila remarked that following traffic congestion on Ali Hassan Mwinyi road, particularly at Selander Bridge section, the government through the Ministry of Works and Transport came with an idea of addressing the challenge.

Tanzanians also witnessed launching of another completed project of construction of New Bagamoyo road (4.3-kilometre Morocco-Mwenge section) in Dar es Salaam.

President Samia graced the inauguration event held in December 2021.

In her speech, the President said, “today we are happily witnessing this occasion of inaugurating New Bagamoyo road section from Morocco to Mwenge, signaling government’s efforts in improving and constructing road infrastructures in Dar es Salaam.

She said the project was implemented with funding from the Government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is a main stakeholder in development of road infrastructures in the country.

“It’s my expectation that expansion and improvements done on this road section will, apart from relieving road users from congestion, reduce accidents when entering and leaving the city centre,” she was optimistic.

The newly launched road section is also expected to act as development catalyst for Northern regions.

“Construction of roads and its supporting infrastructures is costly, it’s important that we all should protect these resources invested in road subsector. My government will make every effort to get enough funds for construction of all roads countrywide through TANROADS,” she assured.

Earlier, speaking over the project, Minister Mbarawa noted that it has been implemented as part of grand plan by the government to initiate projects to construct roads and bridges meant to address traffic jam in the city of Dar es Salaam.

“Your government makes several efforts for strengthening roads and bridges in the country. With this fact, the government implements major road bridge projects using domestic and donor funding…these are big efforts that we should recognize and support them since it is a key means of bringing development to citizens,” the minister elaborated.

On his part, Eng Matavila explained that the Morocco-Mwenge 4.3-kilometre road has been expanded to four-lane road with 3.5 meters width, sparing in the middle the other nine-meters  width for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project in the future.

In line with efforts to decongest the city, her government has continued giving a desired weight to the construction of strategic eight-lane Kimara-Kibaha road.

Apart from completing the project as per the initial design and contract, the Sixth-Phase Government under President Samia has decided to further extend it to allow inclusion of other features for making the highway become more safe enable road users access other structures alongside it such as Magufuli Bus Terminal at Mbezi Mwisho.

The 161bn/- project will consist of additional features to cost a total of extra 55bn/- to include traffic lights, road lights, overpasses, constructing feeder roads towards the new Magufuli Bus Terminal at Mbezi Mwisho.

 “We want this 8-lane section be modern and we will ensure that the additional works are completed within time,” said Prof Mbarawa when visited the project in January this year.

During her tour in Northern zone in October last year, the President also officially opened the newly-constructed 32.2-kilometer Sanyajuu - Elerai road in Kilimanjaro region. 

The road, whose construction was domestically financed, has great importance for citizens, travellers and transporters in the Northern zone regions as well as neighbouring country of Kenya.

As she launched it, the President mentioned that the road will ease transportation of farm inputs and goods.  

‘The Sixth-Phase government proceeds with efforts to construct roads in this zone consisting of regions of Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Tanga.  The government has also finished construction of Sakina - Tengeru (km 14.1) to a dual carriage way and Arusha bypass (km 42.4),” she stated.

She went on saying the government also continues with construction of Loliondo - Mto wa Mbu road; where the Contractor has already started with section of Wasso - Sale road (km 49). Also works in construction of Same- Kisiwani - Mkomazi (km 5.22) is ongoing.

She used the opportunity to inform the residents that the government has embarked on preparations for upgrading the Elerai - Kamwanga (km 44) road to tarmac standard as well repairing and widening the Bomang’ombe – Sanyajuu road (km 24).

“Let me use this opportunity to commend experts from the contractor, consultant from the TANROADS and all staff for being proactive in implementation of this project. I also thank citizens and residents in this area for their patience and cooperation during all this time of construction,” she added.  

There are also several other major projects that are still ongoing, some of which President Samia had laid foundation stone when took over the presidency.

Take example of the construction of the BRT Phase II from Gerezani to Mbagala in Dar es Salaam which the President laid foundation stone in December last year.

The Inauguration ceremony was accompanied by entertainment groups was attended by ministers, members of parliaments, Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, development partners, Chief Executives, and partisan leaders.

In her speech, President Samia Suluhu called upon the general public to desist from the inclination of vandalizing the newly established BRT infrastructure.

She said: “If you don’t take care of the newly built Phase II infrastructure it will easily be impaired.

The BRT phase II involves the construction of infrastructure that includes 20.3km of exclusive BRT lanes and Non Motorised Transport (NMT) facilities along Kilwa Road corridor and part of Kawawa Road.

The project corridor traverses from Mbagala Area in Temeke District to the Central Business District where it connects with Phase 1 of the BRT system at the Kariakoo hub.

The Provision of BRT system is expected to directly enhance and improve the traffic circulation and eliminate bottlenecks to traffic flow to various economic activity centers such as the industrial zones, and the vast populous residential areas of Temeke Municipality.

The proposed project would therefore impact positively on the informal and formal businesses by providing them with improved accessibility and enhanced roadside air quality.

In last month alone, the President laid foundation stone for eagerly awaited Dodoma City Outer Ring Road project.

President Samia expressed optimism that  Dodoma City Outer Ring Road project constructed at a cost of  215 million US dollars (about 497bn/) will open business space between Tanzania and other African countries.

Laying a foundation stone for the 112.3-Kilometre Road project, paid tribute to the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group for providing funding for the project that will transform the face and image of the country’s capital Dodoma.

The AfDB is the main financier of the project after its Board approved funding for the Dodoma City Outer Ring Road project in 2019.

The Bank Group is financing 85% per cent of the total cost or 182.75 million US dollars (about 317bn/-). The government of Tanzania’s contribution is 34.5 million US dollars (about 79.7bn/-), while an additional 41.8 million US dollars (about 94.8bn/-) comes from the Africa Growing Together Fund, financed by the People’s Bank of China.

President Samia said the laying of groundwork for one of the largest road projects in the whole of East and Central Africa was one of the steps towards opening of the wider market in the continent.

“This is a main catalyst in production and transport growth as we are likely to have access to markets from different countries in the region and from across the continent,’’ she said.

According to the president, upon completion, the road would be in position to increase sales of agricultural produce and industrial products and that production was equally likely to increase due to the available markets.

Other ongoing projects to construct major bridges that President Samia’s government has given a push in the past one year include the Kigongo-Busisi Bridge and the Wami Bridge.

Updated TANROADS report over implementation of the J.P. Magufuli Bridge (3.2-kilometre Kigongo-Busisi), had it that the construction has been completed by 40.2 per cent by February 2022.

So far, the government has paid the contractor a total of 194.45bn/- including advance payment of 87.5bn/-. The cost of the project is 716.3 billion.

The construction of this Bridge is among the key components for implementing the development programme in the country as it will provide an important link between Mwanza Region and neighbouring countries of Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda and will be a catalyst for reducing poverty and spur economic growth in the larger area.

The 510-metre New Wami Bridge construction in Coast Region is another key project implemented by the Chinese contractor, Power Construction Corporation Ltd.

The construction of this Bridge is financed by the government by 100 per cent and its construction has so far reached 75.5 per cent.

Upon completion, the project is expected to largely reduce road accidents since it has two lanes unlike the old one which has only one lane.