The Great East Road (GER) allows traffic to access the Nacala Corridor which links Malawi and Mozambique, providing a strategic economic link for the agricultural region in the Eastern Province of Zambia. It is anticipated that Zambian exports may be attracted to this corridor following construction of a dry port at the new rail head in Chipata.
Built at the end of the 1960’s, the 360 km long Luangwa-Mwami section of the GER did not comply with geometric standards and did not meet the needs of a strategic corridor to carry fast moving heavy traffic. Despite relatively low traffic levels, accidents were common at several black spots where pedestrians and cyclists were often the victims. The narrow road cross-section and lack of paved shoulders meant the road was particularly dangerous, especially when vehicles broke down.
The project entailed a detailed assessment of the existing geometric alignment of the 360km section of the road. The existing geometric design parameters were compared with the Southern African Transport and Communications Commission (SATCC) Geometric Guidelines and revised to ensure compliance.
Special attention was given to the section of the road where accidents were frequent and where drainage was inadequate. Cross sections through five villages were improved to accommodate bicycles and pedestrians.