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Khama to open Thapama interchange

President Lt Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama will over the weekend officially open the Francistown/Tonota dual carriage way and Thapama Interchange .


The Thapama Interchange is part of the 30km Francistown-Tonota Rehabilitation Project which was initiated to address issues of traffic flow and improve the socio-economic aspect of the City of Francistown.


The interchange, a first of its kind in Botswana is a historical landmark infrastructure in the country.


The dualling of the Tonota-Francistown road and the upgrading of the Thapama roundabout to an interchange were fully funded by government.


The project which cost close to P1 billion started in October 2012 and has been hailed for improving Francistown’s transportation system by reducing traffic congestion and reducing fuel emissions in the process.


 It was expected to be completed within 36 months but experienced slight delays due to the relocation of services.


 The Thapama interchange, popularly known as the Spaghetti by residents of Francistown has given the city a major facelift and improved safety by catering for safe pedestrian movement.


During its construction some residents had to be relocated near the city centre to Gerald Estates to pave way for the expanded road works.


The project also brought with it a lot of inconveniences as some roads leading into the city centre had to be closed such as the Thapama roundabout which was closed off for 18 months while detour roads were opened up for ease of access.


 Even road side businesses operating along the A1Road within Francistown had to relocate to pave way for construction.


A lot of infrastructure, especially water infrastructure also had to be relocated.


The Francistown-Tonota dual carriage way & Thapama Interchange project was carried out by China Railways Seventh Group with citizen company, Pula Consultants(Pty) Ltd providing consultancy services.


 In addition to the upgrading of the existing road infrastructure into a dual carriage way the project also included upgrading of bridges and access roads. Work on the interchange started in March 2013 and was handed over in 2016.


The completion of the project has also improved the North-South trade corridor between Martins Drift border post and Kazungula.


It also plays a significant role in facilitating the flow of commercial vehicles, especially freight companies transporting goods and services from Southern Africa to the rest of Africa.  ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Puso Kedidimetse

Location : FRANCISTOWN

Event : Interview

Date : Mar 08 Thu,2018

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