Possible Tollgate on the Victoria Falls Bridge

THE Emerged Railways Properties (ERP) Private Limited is set to begin tolling the Victoria Falls Bridge in a bid to raise the necessary funds to maintain this state of the art infrastructure which is over 100 years old, an official has said.

In a statement, the joint secretary of ERP, Mr Misheck Matanhire, noted that they recently held a consultative stakeholders meeting to inform all its publics of the impending tolling of the bridge.

“The ERP Private Limited successfully held a well attended consultative stakeholders meeting to inform stakeholders of the impending tolling of the Victoria Falls Bridge and to get any suggestions from stakeholders on the intended tolling,” he said.

Mr Matanhire said the proposed tolling of the bridge was a means of raising financial aid for the maintenance of the historic superstructure, which came as recommendations made by international consultants who said it could last another 100 years if properly maintained.

“Tolling of the bridge is meant to raise funding for major bridge renewal works as recommended by our international consultants who assessed the structural soundness of the bridge and recommended certain major works which would give the bridge a lease of life of another 100 years,” he said.

He also revealed that during the consultative meeting, various stakeholders made varied suggestions as to how the tolling system is going to operate, issues which include access to the bridge, which vehicles would be tollable and the levels of the toll fees.

“Stakeholders made various suggestions on access to the bridge, tollable vehicles, level of toll fees, multiplicity of tolls and charges and other possible funding options,” he said.

ERP has other sources of revenue, which, however, fall short hence the proposal of the tollgates.

Recently an Engineer of ERP, Mr Herbert Dvinotyiwei, said they need more than US$1.9 million to inject into the maintenance of the bridge, whereby US$800 000 will be for the replacement of the railway deck; US$300 000 for the replacement of the footway deck and US$800 000 for the replacement of the roadway deck.

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