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New Desert Highway nears completion

New Desert Highway nears completion

Video: The three bridges under construction on the new Desert Highway behind the dunes between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. Footage: Niël Terblanché

Niël Terblanché
THE development of the new bitumen standard dual carriageway currently being constructed behind the dunes between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund and the further extension and upgrading of the road from Swakopmund to Kamanjab to bitumen standard will complement the new Container Terminal in facilitating the smooth movement of trade goods to and from Namibia.
One completed the road also known as the Trans Kunene Transport Corridor will be in the same class as the Trans Kalahari, Trans Caprivi and other main transport corridors linking Namibia to its land locked neighbours along which trade goods are transported for transhipment purposes in the Port of Walvis Bay.
During the official inauguration of the new Container Terminal in the Port of Walvis Bay, President Hage Geingob said that Zambia, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, and Zimbabwe are among the main land-linked, now sea-linked markets for seaborne transit cargo going through the Port of Walvis Bay.
“Just last week we witnessed the inauguration of the Zimbabwe Dry Port, joining the other dry ports allocated to Zambia and Botswana. A request for a dry port from the Democratic Republic of Congo is currently under consideration. This is testimony to the immense opportunities for the new terminal to serve Southern African Development Community (SADC) and thereby support our regional integration agenda.”
The upgrade of the MR44 to a dual high way standard not only improves the way cargo will be moved in the near future but it also gives and an indication of possible industrial development behind the dunes between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. The area has long been earmarked for industrial development because of the easy access to both Namibia’s main harbour and the Walvis Bay International Airport.
Construction on the new duel carriage road is already 84 percent complete and Dr. Geingob was impressed by the quality of the infrastructure development. He described it as an outstanding example of network development.
The new Container Terminal is scheduled to be commissioned into service at the end of August while the construction of the Desert Highway between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay duel carriage way is set to be completed by early next year.
The new high way features an fly-over bridge and interchange where it connects and crosses the B2 road between Swakopmund and Usakos and will feature dedicated lanes to allow for a smooth flow of traffic
At the same site, the Desert Highway will connect to the C34 coastal road towards Henties Bay which is also currently being upgraded to bitumen standard. Construction of a bitumen standard road towards Uis and further on the Kamanjab will commence soon. Once completed, the newly upgraded sections of road will form the Trans Kunene transport corridor which will connect Namibia with economic centres in Angola and beyond.
No less than three bridges are currently being built as part of the duel carriage way behind the dunes. Besides the flyover bridge across the B2 Road is the construction of a new 110 metre long bridge over the Swakop River and fly over connecting the Langer Heinrich road with the Desert Highway.
Also in the planning towards the improvement of road is the upgrade of the existing B2 Road between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. The plan is to widen the road and to construct sidewalks in certain parts.

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