Huge relief as road link to Dodoma is reopened

The Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication said in a statement yesterday that traffic began to flow with priority given to upcountry passenger vehicles. Private cars and lorries carrying perishable goods and animals followed, it said. By the time authorities allowed the vehicles to cross, there was snarl-up on both sides as those heading to Morogoro and Dodoma were waiting as an interim facility was being arranged.

After the downpour swept away a bridge and cut off communication between the capital and the nearest regional centre, it was advised that motorists use the prohibitively long Morogoro-Iringa-Dodoma route. Some motorists chose to switch off their vehicles and wait for the temporary bridge to open, with the queue of vehicles waiting to cross stretching as far as 20 kilometres. “So far so good, as vehicles are crossing smoothly.

We even have towing equipment for any damaged cars,” minister Isack Kamwelwe intoned. The restoration of the damaged road section was done by having a culvert to replace the one swept away by floodwaters, with the work nearing completion. Permanent Secretary Elius Mwakalinga said his team was assessing major roads to identify damaged areas that require major repairs.

Morogoro Regional Commissioner Loata ole Sanare said he was relieved after traffic started flowing as the presence of vehicles and people on both sides for days and nights reminded authorities to focus on the matter first.  Heavy rains from mountains in the region and neighbouring Iringa cause strong floods that damage infrastructure in Morogoro each rainy season. Last November, the government appealed to the African Development Bank (AfDB) for a soft loan for the construction of a 224-km four-lane highway from Dodoma to Morogoro.

Treasury minister Dr Philip Mpango made the appeal in talks with Amos Cheptoo, AfDB Executive Director for the East African region, in Dodoma. The Morogoro-Dodoma road is important as it connects the commercial capital Dar es Salaam, which is also the main port, with landlocked countries farther inland. Huge relief as road link to Dodoma is reopened

Traffic volumes on the existing Dar es Salaam – Morogoro road currently exceed the road’s design capacity, resulting in congestion and snarls in traffic.

Associated long travel times and road safety issues further hamper socio-economic development in the central corridor, ministry experts affirm.

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