26th October 2020
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Shandong Hi-speed to ‘redesign’ Juba – Rumbek road

Author: Charles Wote | Published: Monday, May 25, 2020

File: Parts of the road washed away by floods on May 23, 2020.

The Shandong Hi-speed has attributed the recent damages on the Juba-Rumbek highway to “unexpected” flood which exceeded the hydrological data collected during the survey.

Hydrological data are scientific studies which monitor the movement, distribution and management of water, including the water cycle, water resources and environmental watershed sustainability.

Last year, the Shandong High-speed company conducted a feasibility study, environmental and social impact assessment and developed a preliminary design before embarking on the construction of the highway.

But on Friday heavy rains and floods washed away tarmac on parts of the newly constructed road.

The damage happened on two locations including one overflowing section located a kilometre away from the military headquarters, Bilpam.  

Those who visited the site say the layers of gravel under the asphalt are weak and easily washed off by water.

The damaged road caused a social media frenzy forcing the Minister of Roads and Bridges to issue a public apology.

Simon Mijok Majak acknowledged the “shoddy work” which led to the destruction of parts of the Juba – Rumbek highway.

“As the Minister-in-charge, I take responsibility and apologize to our people and the nation for this disaster,” Mijok regretted.

Before construction began, the Ministry of Roads had projected that a one-kilometre of tarmac road would cost the government about 1.5 million US dollars.

The cost was attributed to the supposed thickness of the top layer of the tarmac, the asphaltic concrete to be used and the traffic envisaged.

In a statement seen by Eye Radio, Shandong Hi-speed says the damages on the road over the weekend were unforeseen.

It admitted that the damage was caused by overflowing water which occurred at a section with a length of 80 meters, and another section with a length of 300 meters.

The Project Manager for Juba – Rumbek highway, Zuu Yang said the unexpected flood exceeded earlier hydrological data.

He says the Shandong Hi-Speed company will reassess the area and develop an improved design.

“Since the construction is still, we are going to work closely with the Ministry of Roads and Bridges to make sure that the design is improved and to make sure that the road ultimately constructed will be qualified and strong enough,” Mr. Yang spoke at the damaged site near Juba.  

The Shandong Hi-Speed company embarked on the 700 million U.S dollars’ project early last year after being allocated crude oil to construct the Juba – Terekeka – Yirol – Rumbek road project

The 400 kilometres highway is expected to end in Wau, Western Bahr el Ghazal state.

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