Double-carriage Roads: Innovation In Infrastructure Dev’t
Douala, Yaounde and Kribi are living the novelty which upon completion will greatly boost road transport in the country.
One of the areas in which the incumbent President of the Republic would need not convince anyone in terms of infrastructure development in the past seven years is the advent of double-carriage roads. Call it expressway, motorway or superhighway, the truth is that before 2011 when President Paul Biya took off the current term of office, Cameroon never had such a road. Today, Douala in the Littoral, Yaounde in the Centre and Kribi in the South Regions are living the novelty which upon completion will greatly boost road transport in the country.
Diversifying means of movement of people and goods between Cameroon’s political capital, Yaounde, and the country’s economic epicentre appears to have been one of President Paul Biya’s concerns. His current term of office drawing to a close has seen significant strides in realising the dream. Phase One of the project (68 km of double-carriage road and 25 km restoration axis) is ongoing. Information from the Ministry of Public Works indicates that the project comprises a 2x2 lanes extensible to 2x3 lanes. Construction of three interchanges, 30 restoration works, 224 culverts and a 360m long bridge also constitute part of the project. At moment, the contracting firm, China First Highway Engineering Company; has been working tooth and nail to live up to expectation. The FCFA 284 billion project started off on 13 October 2014 and the contractor was given 48 months to deliver, all things being equal. Information garnered after a recent field visit by Public Works Minister in mid-2018 indicates that the execution rate of the multibillion project (First Phase) was evaluated then in the neigbourhood of 60 per cent. Government has been working tirelessly to clear inhibiting factors like the compensation of the affected population. Deep reflection is equally on course on how to develop the second phase of the project estimated over 150 km and comprising two sections: Bibodi- Edea from PK 60-PK141 and Edea to Douala (PK141-191). The FCFA 770.7 billion project to last 48 months from take-off could be executed within the framework of the Public- Private Partnership with its Build-Operate-Transfer mechanism. Noteworthy is the fact that during President Paul Biya’s recent visit to China for the Third Africa-China Cooperation Forum (FOCAC), the Chinese President Xi Jinping promised that his country was going to stand by Cameroon in executing important infrastructural projects among which the completion of the Douala- Yaounde and Yaounde-Nsimalen Motorways.
The Yaounde-Nsimalen double-carriage way was conceived to give the main gateway into the country’s capital city the accessibility it deserves. The project comprises rural and urban sections that are being executed progressively. At moment, construction is quite advanced on the rural section and users of the Nsimalen airport can already testify of already visible works. Much is already done on the 11.3 km rural section meanwhile, groundwork is being laid to take the 10 km urban section off the ground. It runs across three Divisions of the Centre Region notably Mefou and Afamba, Mefou and Akono and Mfoundi.
Kribi-Lolabe Double Carriage Road
The sea-side resort town of Kribi in the Ocean Division of the South Region that today hosts one of the best seaports in the Central African sub region- the Kribi Deep Seaport, is bracing up to enjoy a state-of-the-art express road. The project segmented into two phases is fast advanced and stakeholders are leaving nothing to chance to ensure that movement of all types of heavy-duty vehicles to and from the port in Mboro is hitchfree. The Kribi-Lolabe section of the road estimated at over 38.5 km is on course. The 2x2 lane axis moves from Mboro village through Bilolo in the Kribi II Subdivision and a 4.5 km restoration path to link the Edea-Kribi road. Two big bridges along the path are also being constructed.