ALLOW me to share this little thought about the current construction of the Lusaka motorway flyovers. The idea of decongesting Lusaka roads by constructing interchanges (motorway flyovers) at the selected major road junctions is a good one and an excellent addition to Lusaka roads.
However, I think critical thinking might have eluded the selectors of the types of interchanges to adopt at these specific junctions.
I say so because from what I have observed on the works done so far, it appears a standard design has been adopted for all the major road junctions. I beg to be corrected if I am wrong.
I believe we should have said no to a standard design of this nature.
One is tempted to think that it is borrowed from the flyovers at the railway lines on the north and south end of Cairo Road. But we could have done better than the 1980’s aesthetics.
I know other factors were considered like safety and geometrical designs, but I am of the opinion that one factor that might have not received much attention was the bridge aesthetics.
I am not too sure whether aesthetically pleasing and obstructing details were compared in order to make the structure fit into that particular environment.
Applying critical thinking in all scenarios for the selected junctions, personally I would not select that design.
And I pray that the Kafue and Kabwe circles, which are in the middle of the central business district (CBD), do not receive that kind of heavy obstructing ramp design with precast facing panels holding the backfill materials.
Aesthetically, that kind of design looks better when you have enough open space, unlike the limited space we have at the selected junctions. By the way, in my opinion, even the Arcades circle was not supposed to receive that heavy motorway ramp design, let alone the Makeni junction. An ideal situation would have been bridge piers throughout carrying the girders (decks).
It would have been aesthetically pleasing as opposed to the current heavy obstructing ramps. Bridge piers would fit into the environment better and allow visibility of the beautiful scenery on both sides of the road.
I cannot imagine those heavy obstructing motorway ramps in the middle of Ben Bella Road and Kalambo Road, worse still when completed they might be used by the public to paste adverts if not stopped by the municipality.
I hope someone out there can hear this and give a second thought to the designs for other remaining junctions, especially the Kafue and Kabwe circles where space is even more limited.
It is not too late. The design change will add beauty to the CBD.
ENG. FRANK SIKANA FEIZ