The busy Fairgrounds Junction along the Gaborone ÔÇô Tlokweng road is expected to be closed for construction from tomorrow (Monday) until end of September, 2011.
The Department of Roads’ Chief Public Relations Officer, Doreen Moapare, stated that traffic will be diverted accordingly and light vehicles will be expected to use the Village Spar Link gravel road, which passes by the old Gaborone landfill and links to Machel Drive at Madirelo Training Centre and Botswana Technology Centre.
Moapare stated that trucks and heavy vehicles are encouraged to use the alternative route that has been set up for them.
“We appeal for patience during construction, and urge the public to drive carefully as this is temporary,” said Moapare.
In a press release, she said that eighty percent of the works on Gaborone Tlokweng road have been completed, adding that the project began in September 2008 but has been delayed mainly by relocation of services, expropriation of land, and heavy rains.
According to Moapare, the revised new completion date for this project, which has a contract value of approximately P380 Million, is October 2011.
Meanwhile, the public has expressed concern about the rapid increase of vehicles, which cause congestion and road accidents in the city.
Gaborone’s transport system has also not been up to the desired level of efficiency, which has adverse effects on the economy, mainly as a result of long travel times and accidents.
Gaborone motorist, Pauline Barungwi, said the general flow of traffic in the city and reduction of road accidents are major concern. She said traffic congestion has reached alarming levels around the city and public transport challenges need to be addressed as well. She said that Gaborone has grown in terms of business opportunity, hence the need to move from one point to another.
“Centralized traffic control system, traffic light retiming and lane widening should be a priority when developing urban roads,” said Barungwi.
Another motorist, Phokojane Masogo, echoed Barungwi’s words that a lot of vehicles are used mostly in the greater Gaborone area, which causes traffic congestions and delays. Masogo said there is need to provide a long term solution to the development of roads and transport in the city. He urged the government to deal with driver’s licenses of anyone regarded by the police as a reckless driver to be reposed.
“Villages and towns surrounding Gaborone have an immense impact, especially on the travelling patterns in and out of the city,” said Masogo.