Northern railway on hold

11 February 2019 | History

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With phase one and two of the Ondangwa-Oshakati railway line extension project complete, the project is currently on hold while the works ministry waits for Central Procurement Board (CPB) approval before advertising for bids.

The construction of the rail bridge at Okapya and the earthworks and embankment between Ondangwa and Oshakati have been completed, while the construction of the station buildings at Oshakati and the platforms are next. In 2002 the government embarked up on the N$1.4 billion Northern Railway Line Extension Project.

This was a three-phase project, with phase one (the 246 km Tsumeb-Ondangwa railway line) and phase two (the 60 km Ondangwa-Oshikango railway) already completed, while phase three, the 28 km railway line between Ondangwa and Oshakati, is currently under construction. Phase three, which started in 2016, was expected to be completed by the end of 2017. Works ministry spokesperson Julius Ngweda confirmed to Namibian Sun that the earthworks and road-over rail bridges are completed. He said the next phase is to construct the Oshakati station buildings and platforms. “The ministry prepared draft bid document for the specific work, and thereafter submitted it to the Central Procurement Board (CPB) for approval, prior to calling for tenders. In short, we are waiting for approval from the CPB to implement the next phase,” Ngweda said. The first part of the earthworks, which is the 14 kilometres from the Ondangwa station to Omaalala was done by a joint-venture between China State Construction and Ablan Engineering, while the remaining 14 kilometres of earthworks was done by Roadhart. Nexus is responsible for the N$40 million railway bridge, situated 10 kilometres from Ondangwa, which is already under construction.

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