By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
The 1.6 million dollar repair works on the damaged Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) Railway line bridge across Chambeshi River in Kanchibiya district of Muchinga Province has been completed.
TAZARA Regional Manager Kambani Ndlovu briefed Muchinga Province Permanent Secretary Henry Mukungule when he visited the project site today that the contractor is currently doing final touches on the remaining works.
The Repair works, carried out Jiangsu Gold Civil Construction commenced in May this year and were due for completion in July, but were delayed owing to late delivery of steel members, which were being fabricated in South Africa.
Eng Ndlovu said the authority will next week commence testing of the repaired bridge by allowing trains with small loads to cross over the bridge and slowly allow heavy loads before resuming normal operations.
“We are grateful to government for the support it has rendered to the authority from the time the accident happened. All major works on the project have been completed and now the contractor is working on final touches before we can commence testing by allowing low loads of the train to pass through,” he said
And Muchinga Province Permanent Secretary Henry Mukungule said government is elated that the repair works have been successfully completed.
Mr Mukungule who was accompanied by Kanchibiya district Commissioner Chrispin Chilekwa and Assistant Secretary Chiwele Kondomone said completion of the repair works will enable TAZARA to resume normal movements of both passenger and goods trains.
In May last year a goods train hit into the steel members of the rail line bridge in across the Chambeshi river which resulted in TAZARA suspending train movements.