The long-awaited 102km Karonga–Chitipa Road is expected to be handed over to the Malawi Government in December this year, more than 8 years after the start of the project.

During a tour of projects, Deputy Minister of Transport and Public Works Sosten Gwengwe also learnt that the K1.6 billion South Rukuru Bridge in Rumphi is also scheduled to be ready in October.

China Roads and Bridges Corporation project manager Zhang Pei Hao said for Karonga-Chitipa Road, the major activities remaining were sign posts and marking the road.

The People’s Republic of China has funded construction of the Karonga-Chitipa Road whereas the Government of Japan has funded construction of the Rukuru Bridge.

In his remarks, Gwengwe said government is impressed with the quality of the work and progress.

He pledged government support towards the projects’ quick completion observing that they stalled due to forex, cement and fuel shortages during the late president Bingu wa Mutharika’s administration.

Paramount Chief Kyungu said the road has connected people of Chitipa and other districts. He said the road will also boost business activities in the district.

Roads Authority construction manager Wainwright Chihana said the Rukuru Bridge will be opened to traffic on August 19 and the old bridge will be demolished.

He said the main challenge the contractors incurred were shortage of cement and fuel which paralysed the works for three months.

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