Highways to be fitted with reflectors

Following the successful role played by reflectors, installed on various roads within Kigali City to curb road accidents, the Ministry of Infrastructure has embarked on a project to install the solar-powered reflectors along all major highways heading to upcountry.

Following the successful role played by reflectors, installed on various roads within Kigali City to curb road accidents, the Ministry of Infrastructure has embarked on a project to install the solar-powered reflectors along all major highways heading to upcountry.

This was disclosed by the State Minister for Transport, Dr Alexis Nzahabwanimana, who announced that the work would begin soon.

“After proving that the reflectors have played a significant role in reducing accidents and maintaining road safety, the ministry is looking at installing them on roads leading to provinces,” Nzahabwanimana said.

He noted that the ministry would not install the devices on all roads at once but rather on a one-by-one basis.

“Regarding the cost of installing the reflectors, if one was to go by the roads we have worked on, a one kilometre stretch with 66 reflectors on both sides, costs Rwf1.8 million to complete, including importation of the materials,” he revealed, however, he could not reveal the total amount earmarked for the entire project

The State Minister said the public had appreciated the solar powered reflectors installed along Kigali streets, saying “they are strong and very helpful.”

Charles Rwagasore, General Manager, Image Projection Ltd, which is tasked with the implementation of the project, told The New Times that the number of reflectors per kilometre depends on the speed limit of a highway.

“Reflectors on roads in a town will be less than the upcountry highways because, in towns, the speed limit is 40 kph while on highways its 60 kph,” Rwagasore stated.

“In 2010, after observing and experiencing the dangers of poor visibility on the roads, especially at night, we decided to undertake research on how to find a solution.  It was very clear that road paints alone were not a solution as they kept fading off and yet identifying the edges of the roads, or humps was very difficult,” Rwagasore noted.

He explained that sometimes, street lights go off due to power cuts and technical problems, adding that solar studs do not succumb to such hiccups.

So far, some of the Kigali streets fitted with the gadgets include Kanogo – Sopetrad –Main Roundabout, Kinamba – Gisozi, Airport – Sopetrad, Kacyiru Roundabout - Kinamba, Gishushu – Nyarutarama, and Main Roundabout – Nyamirambo.

It is believed that after installation, reflectors will be helpful in such areas as Gicumbi, Karongi, Rubavu, Musanze and Muhanga towns, which are notorious for blinding mist and fog, particularly during the rainy seasons.

Saul.butera@newtimes.co.rw

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