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‘ALICK NKATA FLYOVER BRIDGE IS A SCANDAL’

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  • Mr Mooya, a civil engineer with a bias towards construction, said what was happening along Alick Nkhata was a scandal.

By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
CONTRACTORS should avoid using short-cuts in their works because they risk constructing dangerous structures such as the Alick Nkata Flyover Bridge in Lusaka, engineering consultant, Vitalis Mooya has said.

Mr Mooya, a civil engineer with a bias towards construction, said what was happening along Alick Nkhata was a scandal.
He stressed that there should be no short-cuts on any construction site in the country.
“Engineering Institution of Zambia has already condemned that bridge. All these roads, bridges there are specifications and standards to follow. If you do not do that, then you experience what you are talking about (demolishing),” Mr Mooya said an interview.
He said even the client of the project, in this case the Government, should play a role because, “the best engineer without funding, is useless.”
Asked about the needed elementary specifications and standards in constructing a flyover, Mr Mooya said: “It is the width. It has to be wide for two vehicles to pass or overtake.”
“When I say standards, you have to consider even the slope and so forth. There should be no shortcut, if at all you really need a bridge. There should be no shortcut at all.”
Mr Mooya stressed that the procurement system also played a part in the construction sector.
“If you get a wrong person through fronting, you always have these shoddy works. Any compromise results into sub-standard infrastructure. When you want to put up structures, materials which you want to use there must be tested – you have to cure concrete and everything. That’s what standards call for,” said.
Another engineer, Francis Mukuka, said the Alick Nkhata flyover was a scandal, a death trap and must be removed.
Mr Mukuka said it was sad that the flyover is now under reconstruction when the authorities and the minister of local government came out to say it was safe.
“Everything about that bridge is a scandal. It was not supposed to be there in the first place! Authorities must tell the nation what happened. Even after the construction, the technicalities show that it is not safe. That bridge was forced on the public and it is now a death trap.
“It must be removed. If it is because of the shopping mall under construction, just six way road lanes and round-about could have been enough and not that scandal of a flyover that has been erected. We must be serious as a country,” he said.

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