By Mots’elisi Sekonyela
The Road Directorate which is a government entity entrusted with better service delivery, more efficient and effective management of the road network in Lesotho this week in an exclusive interview with this paper relayed the projects it anticipates to undertake in the 2023/2024 financial year should their budget request get approved.
The Directorate’s Public Relations Manager, Nozisolo Mpopo said they are the awaiting budget approval. However, if allocated funding the projects in the works for the next financial year include the rehabilitation of the 4-kilometre Moshoeshoe Road (A6), rehabilitation of Kofi Annan Road (A7) , reconstruction of the A3 Road from Masianokeng, St. Michael’s to Roma Road (11km), rehabilitation of the A2 Road between ‘Malesaoana and Botha-Bothe which is a design and build project and has commenced already.
Furthermore, Mpopo said in their pipeline plans is also the reconstruction of Major structures like the bridge across Tsoaing River on Motsekuoa to Mantšeli Road (B25), reconstruction of the bridge across Koro- Koro River on Mahlabatheng to Ha Mofoka Road (B32) as well as the reconstruction of Sebothoane and Khanyane culverts in Leribe (A8).
The Directorate is also planning on the roads regravelling of Taung to Matebeng (47km) in the district of Thaba-Tseka, Kepi to Telukhunoana (11.5km) in Berea, Tsoloane to Ha Khitsane (31.4km) via Liphiring in Mohale’s hoek district.
The design projects include the designing of Makhaleng Border Post Bridge (Mohales’Hoek), design of Tebellong Bridge (Qacha’s Nek) and a detailed design of Thaba-Tseka – Taung to Mokhotlong and Sehlabathebe Roads (Thaba-Tseka, Mokhotlong and Qacha’s Nek).
In answering the question of whether there are any plans for the Directorate to solve the traffic congestion crisis around Maseru, Mpopo said there are plans to undertake a design of major intersections within the Maseru city. The design of the major intersections will entail improving sight distances and increasing the intersections’ capacity in order that they serve traffic adequately and decongest the city.
The Major Intersections include the Main Traffic Circle ( Cathedral Traffic Circle), Lakeside Signalized Intersection, Thabong Traffic Circle, Lekhaloaneng Signalized Intersection, Ha Mots’oeneng Signalized Intersection, Matala Traffic Circle, Kingsway, Kofi Annan and Moshoeshoe road Junction (next to American Embassy), Kingsway and Pioneer road Junction(@ Lancer’s Inn).
Adding to the list are the Main South road with Mpilo Road(next to IEMS), Mpilo and New Parliament road Junction, Kingsway road Junction with Mpilo (@Mokorotlong), Fokothi road junction with Moshoeshoe road, Maseru Mall Traffic Circle( Kofi Annan and Pope John Paul road) and Moshoeshoe road intersection(s) with Airport road (Seputana and Central Bank).
In conclusion, Mpopo said the issue of damaged roads throughout the country is also a major cause for concern for the Directorate, but inadequate budget halts their pace.
“Most of the roads have reached their design life and need rehabilitation and reconstruction. The Directorate has completed designs for rehabilitation of major trunk roads, however, due to inadequate funding, the Directorate is unable to undertake the needed rehabilitation,” she said.
About M13. 5 billion is needed for adequate and sufficient assets recovery and road maintenance throughout the country.