BULELA DI FETE Bus operators welcome the opening of bridge at Foley
Chief Roads Engineer – North East, Prince Moalosi says the Motloutse river bridge situated in Foley is intact and safe to use.
This follows an assessment they made at the bridge this past Sunday. Moalosi assured that there is nothing to panic about.
The Motloutse bridge was left fully submerged following a heavy rain downpour this past week. The access roads from Francistown and Palapye were then left heavily damaged.
The department of roads then took a deliberate action to temporarily halt traffic from both ends to allow for assessments and repairs where necessary.
“We opened both lanes around 6 in the evening on Sunday. We have been working on the road and everything is fine. Only the top part of the tarred road was washed off by the rain but both the top and bottom part of the bridge are fine,” Moalosi said.
What is now left is for them to work on the patches to smoothen the road again. In the meantime, the public can continue using the A1 road.
Chairman of Botswana Bus Operators Association Tirafalo Mponang also confirmed that they were allowed to use the road since Sunday morning.
Most of the buses that travelled from Gaborone to Francistown on Friday evening, he said, were forced to spend a night at Foley hoping that they will be able to cross to the other side on Saturday morning.
That did not happen and it was a headache for both bus drivers and passengers on board. Many were not willing to pay extra so that the bus could use the alternative route to Francistown going through Serowe and Letlhakane villages – extending their travel by about 480 kilometres.
“It was a great inconvenience. We had to start negotiating or nothing. Again we were under great dilemma, we knew that using that alternative route meant not opening doors to additional passengers lest we find ourselves angering the rightful route owners,” he shared.
Mponang expressed gratitude to the department of roads saying their swift response to the issue rescued their business.