Moshupa bridge collapse was avoidable
- Construction company removed concrete supporting bridges ahead of floods
- Meteorology services had previously warned of floods
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Communication, Elias Magosi, has blamed the collapsed bridges in the Moshupa area on lack of concrete structural support which he said was removed during maintenance.
Last month, two small bridges in Moshupa which were in the process of being refurbished collapsed. The bridges were part of around P1.2bn refurbishment project that runs through Moshupa starting from Mmankgodi junction passing Kanye junction, going to Jwaneng.
Magosi told the media yesterday that the construction company carrying out the maintenance of the bridges had removed some of the concrete works under the bridges, leaving the bridges without any strong support. This means that the collapse could have been prevented or the public warned if the company had planned to work ahead of the floods that were forecasted by Meteorological Services.
“With the heavy rains that we experienced that our colleagues from the Meteorological Services had warned about, it meant that our roads department needed to be ready for this eventuality,” he said, adding that more problems arose as many roads continued to be washed away by the floods. Magosi was however quick to reassure the public, saying roads are generally safe to use this notwithstanding.
According to the roads department, a section of the A10 Road at Moshupa has been temporarily closed since 26th December following the collapse of the two bridges that are just a few meters apart. According to the department, diversion routes will be constructed for use in the next couple of weeks while work to replace the bridges continues.
The two small bridges were part of the rehabilitation of Gaborone – Kanye road which was completed in 1992 at over P38 million. For the refurbishments, the Roads Department Acting Director, Kgakgamatso Kalasi, said on Monday that the bridges were part of an “output and performance reward contract” which means the construction company that was maintaining the road will not bill them any extra costs as it is paid for every completed 5km section.